Safety and Environmental Issues at Phillips 66
by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma
The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.
Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:
Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66
by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma
The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.
Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:
Safety and Environment
Phillips Recent Safety and Environmental Issues
July 18, 2019: Mysterious Smoke Worries Ponca City Residents, Sends Seven Residents to the Hospital
KFOR reported on July 17, 2019 that a cloud of smoke on July 16, 2019 near the Phillips 66 Refinery in Ponca City has some Ponca residents worried. "First I thought it was something burning 'cause I saw a bunch of smoke but then I saw a cloud. The cloud was pretty dark," Ponca City resident, Patricia Hoffman talking about a large smoke cloud in the street between the Phillips 66 refinery and her house. One resident called police after seeing the smoke: "I'm over here at McFadden and Palm and the whole neighborhood is filled with smoke. It smells tar-y. Like tar or something burning. I don't know whether it's Conoco or- I mean, the smoke is so thick in here you can't hardly see to, you know, the other side of the street," said Ponca resident, Gary Winter. "Big cloud of smoke about 12:30, 1 o'clock, it did smell really toxic though," said Monique Hamilton, Ponca resident. Phillips 66 released this statement:
"At approximately 1:00 p.m. local time, a unit upset occurred at the Phillips 66 Ponca City Refinery, located at 1000 S. Pine Street, resulting in a brief release of catalyst which is used in the refining process. After the release, seven individuals from the community sought medical attention at a local emergency room and have since been released. Our emergency response team immediately responded to the incident. No external readings have been detected by monitoring equipment at our fenceline or adjacent community. The safety of our community, the environment, and our people are of the utmost importance to Phillips 66, and these priorities will guide our efforts as we investigate the cause of this incident. For residents' awareness, our community hotline is (580) 767-7130."
One woman was with 6 kids at the splash pad across from the refinery when she saw the cloud of smoke. She said she immediately got a sore throat and that some of the children complained of throat and eye irritation. She says they went to the Alliance Health Center in Ponca where they initially went inside the emergency room but then were all taken outside where first responders treated them. On Wednesday, the woman treated in the parking lot says she still has symptoms. She told News 4 she spoke with several people associated with Phillips 66 and no one would tell her exactly what that catalyst was. "It makes me kinda worried to live that close and that kinda worries me because my grandkids wanna come visit me or something it might be dangerous for them," said Patricia Hoffman.
The Ponca City News reported that the Ponca City Fire Department was requested by the hospital to send units to assist with the decontamination of the irritating chemical on the affected kids. Reports indicate that the PCFD was on scene at the hospital for 42 minutes assisting hospital staff. The responding PCFD units were provided with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the released chemical, which was called a catalyst, by Phillips 66.
Local residents of the area reported on social media that the gas cloud was so thick it obscured the street. Videos and photos of a thick steam-like cloud were also posted. It was originally reported on the Ponca City police log as a steam release from the refinery. Further inquiries were referred by the Ponca City Police Department to the Kay County Sheriff’s Office because the refinery is physically outside the city limits. A representative from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said that Phillips 66 is required to submit an incident report by 4:30 p.m. the following work day after any event of this type.
May 3, 2019: Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Fined Again for Polluting San Pablo Bay
KQED reported on May 3, 2019 that California state water regulators announced that Phillips 66 will pay $80,000 for violating chlorine limits in water it released from Rodeo Refinery into the bay more than a dozen times over a five-month period last year. Water regulators documented 16 instances during eight days between last July and November when chlorine was released from the facility, according to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board's proposed settlement. "Phillips 66 has a history of violations," the board wrote in this week's proposed settlement.
"Chlorine is a problem for aquatic life. We need to control the chlorine concentrations that are discharged in order to keep the fish and other aquatic life protected," said Bill Johnson, who heads the board's division that focuses on enforcement and pollution reduction, adding that his agency did not see any dead fish in the area because of the releases. The board found that company crews did not address the root cause of the violations. Investigators found that the refinery did an "insufficient" job of mixing in bisulfite into the water to remove chlorine from its discharges.
May 2, 2019: Fire Crews Battle Blaze at Phillips 66 Refinery in Carson
KTLA reported on May 2, 2019 that fire crews were called to a blaze at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in Carson on May 2, 2019. Smoke could be seen billowing from the Phillips 66 refinery facility at Sepulveda Boulevard and Alameda Street around 5 p.m. Firefighters declared the flames extinguished shortly before 7:20 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said. No injuries were reported, officials said. Air quality measurements taken Thursday afternoon were normal, but authorities planned to continue to monitor readings.
April 23, 2019: Environmental Groups Says with No Emergency Plan, Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline Violates Permit
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on April 23, 2019 that theAtchafalaya Basinkeeper environmental group says the pipeline began operating on April 1 without having an approved emergency response plan. The state Department of Natural Resources said it would investigate the complaint, but said the pipeline’s operation falls under federal law, and the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration say the pipeline is complying with federal regulations. The pipeline is operated by Houston-based Energy Transfer Partners, its majority owner. Phillips 66 Partners owns 40 percent of the pipeline.
The Basinkeeper complaint pointed out that the federal pipeline agency had informed it on April 11 that Bayou Bridge had not yet submitted the response plan. But in an April 16 letter submitted as part of motions on behalf of DNR in a state Supreme Court case involving the pipeline, a PHMSA official said that Energy Transfer Partners had submitted a similar “Integrated Contingency Plan” that includes the 162-mile Bayou Bridge segment, but that PHMSA had not yet approved that plan.
A spokeswoman for Energy Transfer, in a Friday response to questions, dismissed the Basinkeeper complaint. “There is no validity to these allegations,” said Alexis Daniel. “The Bayou Bridge pipeline has been safely transporting crude oil since April 1.”
March 15, 2019: Massive Fire Erupts at Phillips 66 Oil Refinery in Carson
KTLA reported on March 15 that a large fire broke out at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in Carson. At least three pumps at the facility were involved in the fire, authorities said. Authorities shut down Sepulveda Boulevard between Alameda Street and Wilmington Avenue as firefighters continued dumping water on the flames Friday night, sheriff's officials said. The flames were declared out about 9:30 p.m., according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda. Private refinery firefighters, Los Angeles County firefighters and the Long Beach Fire Department joined in the effort, officials said. Experts were monitoring the air quality, but Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said there were no signs of a hazard.
December 23, 2018: Oil Tankers May Carry Harmful Tar Sands Through San Fransisco Bay to Phillips 66 Oil Terminal
KPIX Channel 6 reported on December 23, 2018 that oil tanker traffic through the the San Fransisco Bay Area is on target to get heavier and potentially riskier as Phillips 66 wants to expand their marine terminal to more than double tanker traffic, from 59 to 135 ships a year. The most recent spill in 2016 sent dozens of East Bay residents to the hospital. Public records show Phillips 66 has been fined by the air district more than a dozen times each year for emissions violations. Yet the Phillips 66 refinery recently received approval to process an additional 4,000 barrels of crude a day. “Not only is there no spill response plan for a tar sands spill … there have been two spills at that marine terminal,” said Nancy Reiser. “The money that goes to operate the Bay Area Air Quality Management District comes from permits to increase production so with every permit they grant they get more money."
KPIX 5 asked Pam Leong, in charge of issuing permits to Bay Area refineries why a refinery with such a lengthy history of emissions violations would be allowed to expand. Leong’s response: “Regulations are specified in the rules. If they meet those regulations they are allowed to get their permit by law.” Phillips 66 turned down KPIX request for an interview, but in a statement said the marine terminal application is not related to, nor reliant upon, any other recent or future projects at the refinery.
September 10, 2018: Construction of Phillips 66 Financed Bayou Bridge Pipeline Halted by Property Rights Challenge
The New Orleans Times-Picayne reported on September 10, 2018 that a legal challenge from Atchafalaya River Basin landowners and environmental groups has temporarily halted construction of the controversial Bayou Bridge Pipeline, financed in part by Phillips 66. The injunction was filed in July after members of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a preservation group, noticed pipeline workers cutting trees and digging trenches on a 38-acre marshland in St. Mary. The property's owners had not granted access to the property and opposed the pipeline's construction through the basin, which contains one of the largest swamps in North America.
Energy Transfer Partners contends it has the right to build on private property through expropriation, a process similar to eminent domain that allows private companies to take property for public benefit. Under the agreement reached Monday, Energy Transfer Partners agreed not to enter the property until it completes the expropriation process, Alexis Daniel, a spokeswoman for the company said. Groups opposed to the pipeline say the agreement freezes construction until at least late November, when another hearing is scheduled with a judge in Louisiana's 16th Judicial District Court. Energy Transfer Partners had planned to complete the pipeline in October. Now the company is aiming to finish by the year's end. "This represents a significant victory for the conservation of the Atchafalaya Basin and for the rights of private landowners who lawfully resist their property being seized for private gain," said property owner Peter Aaslestad.
September 4, 2018: Climate Activists Protest Tar Sands Refining at Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Without Proper Review
SF Bay Area Indymedia reported on September 4, 2018 that climate and environmental justice advocates say local air regulators mandated to protect air quality and the climate are taking significant steps to allow increased tar sands refining and creeping refinery emissions from Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery. A recent public records request reveals that BAAQMD staff issued an administrative permit on August 16, 2018 to increase production capacity at the Phillips 66 refinery by 61.3 million gallons per year.
“This permit allows for increased heavy oil processing, or hydrocracking, at the Rodeo facility, and will enable the refiner to process the increased amounts of Canadian tar sands oil it proposes to bring in across San Francisco Bay via nearly tripled oil tanker traffic in a wharf expansion project,” the groups said. “This small but highly significant step actually allows Phillips 66 to begin implementing its goal of switching its San Francisco Refinery over to tar sands. The Rodeo refinery is connected to its sister refinery in Santa Maria by pipeline; together they make up the larger San Francisco Refinery. Two years ago, multi-community protest shut down a Phillips 66 proposal to increase tar sands deliveries by oil train to the Santa Maria facility,” the groups said. "The company is trying to sneak its expansion past regulators and the public by pretending each little increase is unconnected, but we aren't fooled,” said Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper regarding the permit.
"Tar sands bitumen is the most carbon-intensive, hazardous and polluting major oil resource on the planet to extract, transport, and refine. Despite this, the Air District staff is intentionally bypassing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and refusing to evaluate the climate impacts of its permit, which opens the gates to increased tar sands refining,” the groups said.
The groups said the permit was issued without any public review or notice while Chief Air Pollution Control Officer Jack Broadbent was meeting with First Nations representatives and touring tar sands mining sites in Alberta, Canada. Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay said, “It is wildly irresponsible for Phillips 66 to add to the problems that are causing sick refinery communities and the climate disruption impacting us in California and around the world. Phillips’ expansion proposal must be stopped and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the agency to stop it.”
August 20, 2018: Phillips 66 Agrees to Settle Alleged Violations of the Clean Air Act at Wood River Refinery
Greenwire reported on August 20, 2018 that Phillips 66 Co. would pay a $475,000 fine and spend some $500,000 on a lead paint abatement project as part of a tentative deal to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and two other major federal laws at its Wood River Refinery in southwestern Illinois, according to a proposed consent decree recently lodged with a federal court.
The suit alleged the Wood River refinery has leaking valves and pumps that caused excess emissions of dangerous chemicals. In large amounts, some of the compounds released by the refinery can reduce lung function and irritate the human respiratory system, according to the suit. The lawsuit includes documents from a 2014 inspection that reportedly revealed hydrocarbon emissions escaping from three vents and 17 seams on the roof. Part of the vents were deteriorated and the seams were not monitored. Benzene, a chemical that is a natural part of oil and gasoline smoke and also found in volcanoes and forest fires, was reportedly leaking from 14 locations on-site, according to a follow-up inspection in 2014 included in the lawsuit. According to the settlement, the refinery will make $10.8 million worth of changes to the facility to comply with federal and state standards.
July 7, 2018: Phillips 66 Shuts Down Alliance Refinery to Recover Body of Refinery Worker Killed in Accident
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on July 7, 2018 that Jerome Matthews, a refinery worker at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery near Belle Chasse, died this week in an accident at the refinery, and emergency personnel retrieved the body Saturday evening (July 7) following a shutdown of the facility. Floyd Young, who worked with Matthews for refinery contractor HydroChemPSC, described what took place to Fox 8. "He was working the night shift. There were three of us. It was very slippery and nasty on top of the tower where we were working, and he was grabbing the hose and he slipped and fell into the coolant tower," Young said.
Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said said the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and involved an employee of HydroChemPSC who was working in a basin of the refinery's primary cooling tower. Matthews was seen falling into the water basin, which is about 15 feet deep. Attempts to recover Matthews' body were unsuccessful, and a deliberate shutdown of the refinery began in order to allow emergency responders safe access to the basin. The shutdown process takes at least 48 hours in order to assure safe access to the cooling tower basin. The shutdown was completed Saturday night, and Matthews' remains were recovered and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish coroner, according to Phillips 66.
The company said it is investigating to determine what caused the accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is involved in the investigation of the accident. Jerome Matthews left behind a wife and two children. He had only worked a few months for HydroChemPSC but had several years of experience. "If he knew he was in a situation that could cost him his life, he wouldn't of stayed in that type of environment," Matthews' widow Racquel told Fox 8.
July 4, 2018: Worker Dies in Accident at Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on July 7, 2018 that a refinery worker was killed in an accident at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery near Belle Chasse on July 4, 2018. Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said said the incident happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and involved an employee of HydroChemPSC who was working in a basin of the refinery's primary cooling tower. The worker, who was not identified, was seen falling into the water basin, which is about 15 feet deep.
June 20, 2018: Phillips 66 Worker Allegedly Exposed to Asbestos at Borger Refinery in '50s, Estate Files Lawsuit
The SE Texas recorded reported on June 20, 2018 that from 1955 to 1979, the late Gerald Sullivan worked at Phillips Petroleum at its Borger facility, where he was allegedly exposed to asbestos. According to a lawsuit, Gerald worked as an insulator where he used and was exposed to toxic materials, including asbestos dust and fibers. As a result, he developed mesothelioma, an asbestos-related illness, and “died a painful and terrible death” on Jan. 4, 2017. Seeking exemplary damages, Dennis Sullivan, representing Gerald’s estate, filled suit against Phillips 66 on June 13 in Jefferson County District Court. The suit alleges Phillips knew about the dangers of asbestos but still allowed workers to work with asbestos products without warning or implementing proper safety measures. The plaintiff asserts Phillips acted with malice, entitling him to exemplary damages.
May 24, 2018: Protesters Arrested at Work Site of Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on May 24, 2018 that two protesters were arrested at a Bayou Bridge Pipeline work site in St. James Parish on May 2, 2018 after about 20 protesters participated in blocking construction in response to the state's decision to appeal a judge's ruling against the pipeline. "St. James residents haven't been listened to," Alicia Cooke, one of the two women arrested, said in a statement. "We've been fighting this pipeline on every level through every legal means for over a year. I'm not sure how many more ways Louisianans can say we don't want this or need this." Protesters from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 350 New Orleans and other groups have been monitoring construction and reporting suspected permit violations. Blocking bulldozers and other heavy equipment on Thursday was an attempt to "enforce the law that (DNR) is failing to enforce," the Bucket Brigade said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the pipeline jointly with Phillips 66, said work is being done according to state- and federally-approved permits. "Our construction activities have been and will continue to adhere to the stipulations of our permits," Energy Transfer's Alexis Daniel said in an email. "Our commitment to the safe construction and operation of this pipeline remains unchanged."
May 22, 2018: Construction of Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline Continues in Defiance of Judge
Courthouse News reported on May 22, 2018 that construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline through sensitive coastal lands continued despite a state judge’s ruling that the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources illegally issued a permit for it. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline is jointly owned by Energy Transfer Partners, which merged with Sunoco in 2012, and Phillips 66. State Judge Alvin Turner Jr., of the 23rd Judicial District Court in St. James Parish, ruled April 30 that the permit for construction through a coastal zone violated state law. On May 15, Judge Turner reiterated that construction through the zone must stop. In siding with plaintiffs, including HELP St. James, Gulf Coast Restoration Network, The Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and BOLD Louisiana, Judge Turner found that the department did not apply state-mandated guidelines that direct the activities of companies involved in oil and gas, a fact he called “troubling.” Turner found that construction of the pipeline will leave St. James residents without an emergency and evacuation route in the event of a chemical spill. And a chemical spill, according to statistics, is likely.
Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said the Department of Natural Resources is turning a blind eye to environmental violations while another state agency is trying desperately to save the coast. “The state is speaking out of both sides of its mouth,” Rolfes said later in an email. “On the one hand pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a coastal zone program, and yet looking the other way as Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC digs up and destroys [the coast]. The Department of Natural Resources is giving Bayou Bridge a pass to damage the coastal zone and suffer no consequences.”
May 15, 2018: Phillips 66 Pays $100,000 For Air Quality Violations at Rodeo Refinery
The San Fransisco Examiner reported on May 15, 2018 that Phillips 66 has agreed to pay nearly $100,000 to settle air quality violations at its Rodeo Refinery settling a group of 13 notices for violations that occurred in 2015. The notices addressed brief violations of emissions limits, venting of odorous gases that did not result in a public nuisance, a failed accuracy test of a monitoring system and violations of a leak detection and repair program or minor administrative violations. All the violations have been corrected, the district said.
May 7, 2018: Judge Rules Permit for Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline is Illegal
The New Orleans Times Picayune reported on May 7, 2018 that the Louisiana state Department of Natural Resources violated provisions of a state law designed to protect the public and environment in issuing a coastal use permit for construction of the controversial Bayou Bridge Pipeline, and the permit must be reconsidered, according to a state district court judge in St. James Parish. The state agency overseeing the pipeline permit eliminated state-required environmental and safety protections for neighborhoods in St. James Parish and coastal areas that the pipeline will pass through by improperly applying provisions of the state's Coastal Zone Management Act, 23rd Judicial District Court Judge Alvin Turner Jr. ruled in his April 26 decision, made public Monday (May 7).
"We do not typically comment on pending or current litigation," said Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado. "We would like to reiterate, however, that we will continue to follow all of the stipulations of our permits, as we have always done."
Two St. James residents among those filing the suit praised the ruling in a press release announcing the decision. "It seems like the state agency didn't think too much about the people who live here when it was giving Bayou Bridge this permit, and neither did Bayou Bridge," said Harry Joseph Sr., pastor of Mount Triumph Baptist Church in St. James. "So we went to court, to somebody who we felt would listen to us, and he did." "Here in St. James, we are in desperate need for an evacuation plan that will allow us to get out fast when something spills or explodes," said Genevieve Butler, a St. James resident. "More facilities keep coming, and each one puts us at more risk, but none of them want to do anything about our situation. Well, now Bayou Bridge has to step up. I hope all the others see this ruling as a sign that they have to give our community the protection we deserve."
Elizabeth Livingston de Calderon, a supervising attorney with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic representing environmental and community groups that filed suit challenging the permit, said the ruling will require construction to stop on the 162-mile pipeline until DNR reconsiders the permit, once a formal judgment is issued in the case, which could take another week or so.
April 25, 2018: Phillips 66 Issues all Clear After Gas Leak at Borger Refinery
The Borger News-Herald reported on April 25, 2018 that people in the downwind area around Borgerm ay notice a pungent or irritating smell from the Phillips 66 Refinery but that there is no cause for concern with the public. "The smell alone is not a cause for concern," says an official source. "If anything rises to a level to become an issue to the public, we will post updates. During these types of incidents it is not uncommon for rumors and speculation to begin. This will be the official source for information regarding this situation. Please monitor our page for any updates." The all-clear has been given by officials at the Phillips 66 plant regarding the incident.Officials say at no time during the monitoring were any levels detected to indicate a concern for the public.
March 29, 2018: Equipment on Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline Vandalized
The Advocate reported on March 29, 2018 that vandals cut hydraulic hoses and electrical lines, broke windows and spray painted messages on backhoes and bulldozers on Bayou Bridge construction equipment in Assumption Parish causing estimated damage of at least $50,000 but possibly much more. Deputies are still investigating, though the company has blamed environmental extremists based on some of the spray painting. Company officials declined to say what was spray painted on the construction equipment. "We understand there will always be varying opinions about critical infrastructure projects like the Bayou Bridge Pipeline and we respect the rights of all to peacefully protest, however destruction of equipment is not peaceful," the company wrote in a statement on its social media accounts.
Anne Rolfes, founder of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and one of the familiar faces at previous demonstrations said vandalism is not a tactic her coalition employs. "I don't know who would've done that. We don't condone that type of damage," she said. At the same time, "I'm not surprised," Rolfes added. Both sides have accused the other of hypocrisy. Pipeline builders argued that damage to equipment or infrastructure can actually harm the environment, though they did not delve into whether that was at issue in the recent case. Rolfes fired back that if Energy Transfer Partners, which owns Bayou Bridge, cares so much about the environment it should bring down the number of spills the company reports.
March 19, 2018: Environmentalists Protest Phillips 66 Permit They Say Increases Processing of Tar Sands Oil at Rodeo Refinery
SF Gate reported on March 19, 2018 that environmental activists gathered outside the San Francisco offices of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District this morning to protest a permit adjustment they said significantly increased the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo's ability to process tar sands oil. Advocates with the Center for Biological Diversity said that a permit that was quietly approved by the district January 25, 2018 allowing a significant increase in the operational capacity of a refinery "hydrocracking plant," which converts crude oils like those from the Canadian tar sands to more valuable petroleum products like fuel.
The district, however, disputes the claim saying that the permit was issued, and it allows the refinery to produce 65,000 barrels of oil per day, but according to deputy air pollution control officer Damian Breen that permit did not increase the amount of oil the facility can produce. Breen said the Center for Biological Diversity is responding to a clerical error, which has since been addressed, indicating that the old permit only allowed for 42,000 barrels per day. That document was inaccurate, according to Breen, and the hydrocracking plant in question has been permitted to produce 65,000 barrels a day for roughly 10 years.
March 19, 2018: Phillips 66 Proposes 94-mile Pipeline from St. James to its Alliance Refinery
The Times Picayune reported on March 19, 2018 that Phillips 66 wants to build another 94-mile crude oil pipeline from what it calls the St. James oil market hub to its Alliance Refinery in Plaquemines Parish. A significant part of the path of the proposed pipeline would cross through wetlands in the Barataria Basin and Breton Sound Basin, and across Lake Salvador, according to a map accompanying a brief summary provided to local officials by the company earlier this month. However, the proposed route would be within existing pipeline corridors. "The pipeline would provide Louisiana refineries with new access to U.S.-produced crude oil, reducing reliance on foreign crude and keeping them competitive in the global market for energy projects," says a one-page "Ace Pipeline Summary" that's been sent to a number of local government officials.
Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, one of the organizations that has opposed Phillips 66 funded Bayou Bridge pipeline, raised questions about this latest proposal, including the failure to inform the public about the pipeline plans. "This is what corruption looks like: our government helping an out-of-state oil company to secretly expand," she said. "They have done this out of the public eye, with no input, and there's a reason for it: they are polluters, they should be ashamed, they should be banned from Louisiana. Instead our so-called leaders roll out the red carpet. "Nothing about the Bayou Bridge process has been honest - from the secret meeting our governor had with Bayou Bridge employee Mary Landrieu to the claims of providing jobs for locals," Rolfes said. "Up-and-down the pipeline route the license plates of the construction workers are from out of state. It will be the same with this additional section."
March 15, 2018: Appeals Court Allows Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline Construction to Proceed
The Times-Picayune reported on March 15, 2018 that by a two-to-one vote, judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans struck down a ruling by a federal judge in Baton Rouge that had halted the pipeline's construction through the environmentally-sensitive Atchafalaya Basin putting construction of the controversial Bayou Bridge oil pipeline back on track. Judge Edith Brown Clement wrote that the district court "abused its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction" halting the pipeline's construction. The district court should have allowed the case to proceed with the Army Corps of Engineers providing its reasons for permitting the pipeline, she wrote. Environmental groups opposed to the pipeline say they'll appeal Thursday's decision.
One of the three appeals court judges filed a dissenting opinion. Judge W. Eugene Davis agreed with Dick that the Corps had not explained how the company's mitigation plan would reduce the pipeline's impacts. The Corps "must explain how the out-of-kind mitigation measures replace the 'lost functions and services' of the bald-cypress/tupelo swamp," Davis wrote.
March 7, 2018: A New Generation of Activists Organize in the Shadow of Phillips 66's Wilmington Refinery
Jesse Hardman published an interesting article in High Country News on March 7, 2018 about the 10-square-mile South Los Angeles community in close proximity to three oil refineries including Phillips 66 Wilmington Refinery, that has the dubious distinction of having some of the worst air quality in a city that already has the country’s worst ozone levels. A 2013 California state cap-and-trade law offered incentives for big polluters to become greener. But one study suggests that the program has inadvertently made air quality worse in places close to refineries and power plants, like Wilmington. Here’s how it works: Under the law, big polluters like oil refineries and power plants must buy permits that allow them to emit greenhouse gases. The number of permits available is reduced year by year, in an effort to gradually bring down the state’s overall carbon emissions. But rather than lower their emissions to meet the program’s targets, oil companies like Tesoro, which operates in Wilmington, choose to buy up other companies’ allowances, or pay to offset the damage they cause elsewhere, by planting trees in Alaska, for example. This gives them free license to continue polluting in their immediate areas.
In Wilmington, oil companies start their PR push early. Twenty-four-year-old activist Ashley Hernández remembers getting free backpacks and pencils with oil company logos as a kid. “You get popcorn from them every Halloween,” she said. For more than six decades, Phillips 66 has co-opted that holiday, painting one of its 3-million-gallon gas storage tanks orange to create an enormous grinning jack-o-lantern — “Smilin’Jack” — that towers over the community. Employees in bright yellow safety vests stand beneath chemical tanks and smokestacks, giving local families bags of caramel corn and plastic balls marked with the Phillips 66 logo. “They do community events, they’ll fund carnivals, they’ll do youth trips. They do it with an aim to silence them,” said Hernández, noting the hold that local industries have over her working-class parents, originally from El Salvador. After decades spent making a life in Wilmington, Hernández and her family would find it hard to just leave.
Sylvia Arredondo is at the helm of a growing movement made up mostly of women of color who grew up here but left to get an education, and then later returned to battle the industries that are poisoning their families. Their fight is a legal and political challenge to oil companies and local air-quality regulatory bodies. But it’s also an exercise in civic engagement, one that even Wilmington’s older generations have joined, despite their fear of being deported or losing their jobs at the local oil facilities. As a child, Arredondo attended classes in a wealthier district, but returned to Wilmington in time for high school. By then, she knew that her community’s poor air quality was something wealthier neighborhoods would never stand for. One of her college textbooks called her city a “toxic hotspot.” “Before that class, I didn’t know what environmental justice was,” Arredondo said. Now she fights for it as the civic engagement coordinator for the nonprofit Communities for a Better Environment, and as the president of Wilmington’s neighborhood council.
March 1, 2018: Judge Explains Why She Stopped Construction Through Atchafalaya Swamp of Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
Courthouse News service reported on March 1, 2018 that U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick said the Bayou Bridge Pipline, funded in part by Phillips 66, threatens the health and longevity of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river swamp in North America and agreed with environmentalists who filed the lawsuit that the centuries-old cypress and tupelo trees in the path of the pipeline are irreplaceable. “While an injunction could delay the schedule for this project, it is well established that temporary economic harm does not outweigh permanent environmental degradation such as loss of forests – especially ancient trees – or damage to wetlands,” Judge Dick wrote. Dick’s order halted all work in the Atchafalaya Basin until the case has been tried. Company attorneys said the Corps of Engineers’ permit requires Bayou Bridge Pipeline to restore the Basin’s “pre-existing wetland contours and conditions” when the project is done. However, Judge Dick said the Corps of Engineers did not show it took into consideration past and present cumulative environmental impacts. “The Corps’ and BBP’s [Bayou Bridge Pipeline’s] myopic view that they are only required to consider the impacts of this singular project is not consistent with the regulations or applicable jurisprudence,” Dick wrote.
Dick noted in her order that documents show the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality raised concerns that running the pipeline through the Atchafalaya “would add to the cumulative effect of ecologically detrimental hydrologic alteration, and the pipeline would obstruct planned efforts to restore hydrologic function.” Plaintiffs said the Corp’s plans to mitigate wetland losses did not measure up to what is lawfully required. Judge Dick agreed. Typically, environmental mitigation programs are undertaken in the same region as the project that caused the environmental destruction. Plaintiffs showed they had proposed that the Corps of Engineers require Bayou Bridge Pipeline to clean up spoil banks left in the wetlands from previous pipeline constructions that did not follow state and federal protocol. Instead, however, the Corps required Bayou Bridge to purchase environmental mitigation credits for projects far away from the Atchafalaya Basin, in violation of regulation, Dick found.
February 26, 2018: Lawsuits Filed Over Contractor's Death at the Phillips 66 Partners Paradis Pipeline Station
Houma Today reported on February 26, 2018 that Phillips 66 and the widow of Josh Helms, killed on February 9, 2017 in a natural gas pipeline explosion at the Phillips 66 Partners Paradis Pipeline Station, have filed lawsuits in state District Court in Thibodaux against Blanchard Contractors and its insurers. Mandy Helms is suing individually and on behalf of her minor daughter. According to the lawsuits, a Blanchard employee opened or operated valves without making sure they were aligned. This caused the release of natural gas and, subsequently, an explosion, the lawsuits say. Phillips 66 says it lost everything at the station. The company is suing for unspecified damages, including emergency response, cleaning, building temporary re-routing facilities, and replacing and rebuilding structures and equipment. Mandy Helms is also suing for unspecified damages, including loss of income and medical and psychological services related to her husband’s death. Phillips 66 said six people were working at the site when the fire occurred: three of its employees and three contract workers from the Cut Off-based Blanchard Contractors. Two contract workers were taken to area hospitals.
February 26, 2018: Appeals Begin to Halt Work Stoppage on Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline, Say Cost is Almost $1 M Per Day
The Advocate reported on February 26, 2018 that according to ETP spokeman Alexis Daniel construction within the Atchafalaya Basin has stopped on Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a $700 million joint venture between Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66. Bayou Bridge lawyers have asked the judge to suspend her work stoppage order, saying the construction halt would cost the company almost $1 million daily. They have asked Judge Dick to resolve that request by Tuesday and want the suspension of the work stoppage while they pursue an appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. In Bayou Bridge’s motion, lawyers argued that Judge Dick could not have meant to stop work on the entire pipeline's length. They noted the environmental groups that sued last month over the line have only argued about the line’s potential effect on the Atchafalaya. The attorneys also noted that Dick's two-page order did not specify its breadth, saying it enjoined "in only the most general terms 'further action on this project.'" The lawyers added that if the order does extend to the entire project, the cost to Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC would be as much as $1.675 million per day.
The plaintiffs in the suit and the protesters who gathered Monday in Belle Rose are both battling Bayou Bridge, but to different ends. Much of the testimony in the suit discussed the harm being done to the Atchafalaya Swamp. The plaintiffs urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to order the pipeline company to perform meaningful work to offset the damage locally, such as by repairing existing oil infrastructure. The protesters, meanwhile, viewed the pipeline as inherently unsafe and demanded its complete removal. Margaret Logue, 23, one of three protesters who refused to leave the Belle Rose-area construction site off La. 70 and was later arrested Monday, called on Bayou Bridge and the state government to respond to their demands. “We believe in the power of the people to stand up peacefully and prayerfully against a government and a company that have proven themselves unwilling to and incapable of protecting our greatest treasures: our water, our air, our land and our people,” she said.
February 23, 2018: Federal Judges Stops Construction of Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
The Advocate reported on February 23, 2018 that U.S. District Court Judge Shelly Dick has issued an order prohibiting the companies building the Bayou Bridge pipeline from continuing construction. The judge's order has halted construction of the pipeline planned through the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin, granting the request of environmental groups opposed to the project. In the order issuing a preliminary injunction, Dick wrote that she was enjoining further work on the pipeline "in order to prevent further irreparable harm until this matter can be tried on the merits." “The court’s ruling recognizes the serious threat this pipeline poses to the Atchafalaya Basin, one of our country’s ecological and cultural crown jewels,” Jan Hasselman, an Earthjustice attorney, said in a statement. “For now, at least, the Atchafalaya is safe from this company’s incompetence and greed.” Alexis Daniel, spokeman for Energy Transfer Partners, a joint owner of the pipeline project, declined comment. "The Judge did not issue any opinion explaining her order. Until such time as that is issued, and we can review, we will have no further comment."
Construction on the $175 million, 162-mile pipeline has already begun. The line would transport crude from Lake Charles, home to Phillips 66's Westlake Refinery, to St. James, Louisiana, connecting to an existing line that originates in Nederland, Texas. The project is 60 percent owned by Energy Transfer with the remainder owned by refiner Phillips 66. Once complete, the Bayou Bridge system will have capacity to transport up to 480,000 barrels of oil per day to refineries along the Mississippi River. It is projected to start service by the second half of 2018. The line also would move oil from Texas and as far as North Dakota, through connections with Energy Transfer’s Dakota Access, to Gulf Coast refiners. Louisiana is home to around 3.5 million barrels per day of refining capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Energy Transfer’s 1,172-mile (1,885-km) Dakota Access crude pipeline was thrust into the spotlight following massive protests near its construction site in North Dakota. Although protesters were able to temporarily halt construction, it began service in mid-2017.
Pipeline attorney William Scherman previously said in a story published Feburary 8, 2018 that Bayou Bridge is prepared to spend $20 million to perform offsetting environmental projects known as wetlands mitigation. However, Scott Eustis, community science director for the Gulf Restoration Network, testified the mitigation would take place 55 miles away. Clemson ecology professor William Conner said the project the Corps agreed to would replant bottomland hardwood forests, not swamps. "It's two different kinds of forest performing two different kinds of function. … I don't think the mitigation will replace what is going to be cut, simple as that," Conner said on the stand.
February 16, 2018: California Bill Would Triple Fines for Refinery Violations
The Benicia Herald reported on Feburary 16, 2018 that Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) has introduced a new bill to prevent harmful emissions from oil refineries by increasing fines for serious violations of emissions standards that lead to sickness in individuals or forcing sheltering-in-place orders. Dodd’s bill, Senate Bill 1144, aims to triple existing fines for refineries that violate emission standards if they cause health problems or impact more than 25 people. Dodd represents Rodeo where in September, 2016, an oil sheen connected to a tanker at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo spilled into the San Pablo Bay sending an odor that sickened people in nearby areas– including Vallejo. The state’s Office of Emergency Services reported that area hospitals and medical facilities treated 120 patients for headaches, nausea, dizziness, and burning of the eyes, nose and throat, according to the news release. The Phillips 66 refinery was subsequently issued a notice of violation by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
January 11, 2018: Groups Sue To Stop Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline, Which Received Permit For Greater Capacity Than Publicized
KATC reported on January 11, 2018 that several Louisiana groups including the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association, West; Gulf Restoration Network; Waterkeeper Alliance; and Sierra Club have sued the US Corps of Engineers to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline project claiming claims that the Corps violated federal environmental laws in its approval of the project. The National Environmental Policy Act requires agencies to prepare an environmental impact statement for "major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." The plaintiffs claim that the Corps disregarded a lot when it found the project would have no significant impact, like the pipeline company's spill record and the project's potential impacts on flooding and restoration projects, among other factors. The plaintiffs claim the Corps also failed to consider alternatives to the proposed project, as NEPA requires, like connecting to existing pipelines or a "restoration alternative" that would require the company to remove legacy spoil banks in the Basin.
“We have a right to a healthy environment. If the Cajun people of Louisiana had challenged the first pipeline when it came through Louisiana, we wouldn't be facing the environmental mess that we have in coastal Louisiana and the Atchafalaya Basin,” Jody Meche, a commercial crawfisherman with the Louisiana Crawfish Producer's Association, West, stated in the release. “It is the right thing to do to challenge the construction of a new pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners, which has a track record of flagrantly violating environmental laws.”
As proposed, Bayou Bridge was to carry up to 280,000 barrels of oil a day, but the final permit allows the project to carry up to 480,000 barrels of oil — another issue with which the plaintiffs take issue. "This dramatic increase in capacity within a fixed pipeline diameter has significant consequences for the risks of spills, and their impacts. However, these consequences were neither disclosed nor analyzed by the Corps in the permitting process," the suit claims, also adding that the existing pipeline system is operating under capacity — even as it was described as critical infrastructure.
December 28, 2017: Runaway Barge Contracted by Phillips 66 Leaves Costly Mess Near Sweeny Refinery
The Houston Chronicle reported on December 28, 2017 that a runaway barge contracted by Phillips 66 to dredge the bottom of the river around a Phillips 66 terminal near Sweeny Refinery was one of two barges and a tugboat that came unmoored on August 28, 2017 in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The barge, 140 feet long, 45 feet wide and weighing 476 tons, went careening down the San Bernard River through Brazoria County demolishing at least 16 docks and boathouses during the rampage. Now, property owners are bracing for a fight over who will pay for the damage.
A spokesman for Phillips 66, Dennis Nuss, said the owner of the barge, GSD Companies, and the owner of the tugboat, M&C Oilfield Services, both based in Louisiana, claimed full responsibility for the damage. The Phillips spokesman declined to comment on the timeline of events, including whether the refinery gave the companies ample warning to get the barge and tugboat off the river ahead of the storm. The barge was contracted by Phillips to dredge the bottom of the river around the terminal. The spud barge was connected to a "pot barge," a smaller vessel used to dispose of the sand and silt dredged up from the river. The barges were still docked at the terminal when Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017 At some point on August 28, the two barges and tugboat became unmoored from the docking terminal and floated down the river, the rising waters pushing the spuds up from the riverbed and setting it on a path of destruction.
More than three months after the runaway barge ran amok on the San Bernard River, the 16 property owners who sustained damage are still trying to pick up the pieces. The lack of a swift response from the parties responsible for the barge has sowed further confusion and frustration. Shelly Stubbs believes the breakdown in communication is a calculated play by the barge and tugboat company to force the affected river residents to take legal action. She wonders if the companies would rather take their chances in a lawsuit against a group of overextended property owners than pay to repair hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Any potential lawsuit also could be subjected to a nuance of maritime law called the limitation of liabilities, which states that if a vessel causes damage without the knowledge or direct involvement of its owners, they are not liable for anything more than the vessel's post-incident value. Even for runaway barges, there is precedent for limited liability. In 2011, a district judge in Louisiana ruled in favor of a company that owned a 200-foot barge that came unmoored during Hurricane Katrina, exonerating the company for massive damage that included destruction of several houses and a school bus. "The owner of the barge may be able to escape liability altogether or limit his liabilities to the value of the barge itself," said Thomas Fitzhugh, a maritime law expert and partner at Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea & BenMaier in Houston. "It's been a feature of maritime law for a very long time."
December 10, 2017: 472 Plaintiffs Join Lawsuit Against Phillips 66 over Sweeny Flooding
The Brazapot Facts reported on December 10, 2017 that 472 plaintiffs have filed a new petition against Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips Chemical claiming that the companies caused damage to persons and property in the Sweeny area when they blocked a bayou system, causing Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters to rise rather than drain, up from 324 in the lawsuit in September. Josh Bowlin of the Houston firm Walston Bowlin said he is in contact with dozens more residents and business owners who may join the lawsuit at a later time. Because the litigation is a mass-action lawsuit, each of the plaintiff’s claims have to be assessed individually, and only people who have joined the suit will be eligible to receive compensation through a settlement or a court action, Bowlin said. “There are 500 plaintiffs with different damages, from pecan orchards to personal effects,” Bowlin said. Bowlin said he has hired hydrologists to assess whether the bayou blockages alleged in the petition could have caused the flooding that area residents experienced. “There is a huge watershed area in that area, and remarkably the Linville Bayou acts as a drainage source for that entire area,” he said. “We are looking into mapping the entire impact of what would happen in a rainfall event such as this and how the water would be dispersed.”
Plaintiffs’ stories about the flooding have been “remarkably consistent,” Bowlin said. “I have three teams of people down there and appraising homes, and they have probably been to 125 homes,” he said. “Everyone got a little water on their property, then everything started to recede, and then overnight everyone experienced a flash flood incident.” That flooding, Bowlin said, is “consistent with damming the Linville Bayou and its tributaries around there.”
Phillips 66 did not respond to requests for comment for this story, and Chevron Phillips Chemical declined to comment because the matter is still under litigation.
December 6, 2017: Worker Burned by Sulphuric Acid at Phillips 66's Alliance Refinery
Reuters reported on December 6, 2017 that an operator was burned by sulfuric acid on Tuesday while performing maintenance on a boiler at Phillips 66’s Alliance Refinery. Phillips 66 spokeswoman Melissa Ory said a worker from the Alliance refinery was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.
November 6, 2017: Approval of Phillips 66 Pipeline's 60,000-gallon Butane Tank has Jenks City Councilor Concerned
The Tulsa World reported on November 6, 2017 that Jenks City Councilor Robert Lee can’t figure out how Phillips 66 Pipline Co putting a 60,000-gallon butane tank so close to soccer fields, an education facility and a major roadway makes sense but Jenk's City Council's 4-3 vote gave Phillips the permit it needed to add a butane-blending operation to its distribution terminal at 10600 S. Elwood Ave. “This decision truly does not benefit any one individual in the city of Jenks or the city of Jenks,” said Lee. “It just benefits (Phillips), and that is why I am so disappointed in their decision.” In a worst-case scenario, Lee said, the tank could blow up, creating a mile-wide “blast zone” that would engulf residential neighborhoods, the Titan Sports and Performance Center and Jenks Public Schools’ Agricultural Science Center.
Dennis Nuss, director of media and external relations for Phillips 66, said the company is upgrading several facilities around the country with butane-blending operations. “Adding butane to gasoline brings the mixture up to state and federal motor fuel volatility limits, which vary seasonally,” Nuss said. “Similar facilities have existed in the Tulsa area for years.” Jenks Assistant Fire Chief Greg Ostrum said Phillips 66’s new facility will be required to meet eight or nine national fire codes in addition to Jenks’ code. “We are not breaking ground here,” he said. “There are safety standards that have been established for this kind of project.”
October 2, 2017: Phillips 66 Oil-by-Train Plan to Santa Maria Refinery is Dead Say Environmental Groups
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on October 2, 2017 that Phillips 66's plan to transport crude oil by rail to its Santa Maria Refinery is dead, environmental groups say, after the company agreed to drop its lawsuit against San Luis Obispo County. If the settlement is approved by the court, the county’s denial of the project will stand, said county attorney Tim McNulty. “I can say with 99.9 percent certainty this is the end of the track for more oil trains in San Luis Obispo County,” said Andrew Christie with the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Projects never fail just because they’re ill-conceived, especially when they’re proposed by large, well-funded entities,” Christie said. “The only way those projects fail is thanks to grassroots organizing and local people saying loud and clear, ‘We don’t want this project.’ And that happened on a scale I’ve never seen before.” Phillips 66 officials declined to comment Monday on what McNulty called a settlement.
September 29, 2017: Sweeny Homeowner's Lawsuit Says Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips Knowingly Forced Floodwaters into their Neighborhood
CBS News reported on September 29, 2017 that the Army Corps of Engineers is investigating claims by residents of Sweeny, Texas, that floodwaters were knowingly forced into their neighborhoods when Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips dammed up two bayous. A lawsuit filed by about 324 families claims that by damming two nearby bayous without warning, the companies knowingly pushed floodwater away from the plant and into neighborhoods. Video shows how the plant stayed dry – and left homes under water. "It was full. I mean, it was almost to the top of where we're standing right now," said lawyer Josh Bowlin. Bowlin represents the families now suing the Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips. He showed one spot that was dammed and a video of the backhoe that was used to remove the blockage. "I've talked to so many people that if they just had a little bit of notice they could have saved so much," Bowlin said.
Chevron Phillips did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But in a statement, Phillips 66 said, "Our priorities during the flood were to protect people and the environment...we do not believe these actions on one side of our property impacted the ongoing flooding event adjacent to the refinery or in the community." "I apologize for the profanity but that's a bunch of bull**** straight up. They made a conscious decision to save their plant but those actions have consequences and they need to be held responsible for those actions," said David Harquist. Residents say disaster struck after the storm had moved on. Floodwaters stopped receding and began rising again -- this time, into the house. "I was shocked. I was like what in the world is going on and then all of the sudden the water came up and it started coming up quickly," Harquist said.
According to the Brazaport Facts, the petition alleges Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. caused flooding in areas near Phillips 66’s Old Ocean refinery by erecting dams on the Linville Bayou and Little Linville Bayou “in the dark of night,” starting August 30, 2017. “These dams gave the water flowing downstream nowhere to flow, except to flood the land and its people surrounding the Sweeny Refinery,” the petition states. Refinery employees “never warned a single Sweeny resident of the imminent danger upon them,” the petition states. The petition also claims “multiple chemical and petroleum spills occurred in Sweeny Refinery and were threatening contamination in the flowing waters.” Bowlin said the contaminants included the carcinogen benzene and wastewater, though analyses of the contaminants still are ongoing. Bowlin said he witnessed the blocked bayous first-hand and is confident evidence will show the refinery’s managers to have been at fault. The dams constructed by refinery workers contributed to flooding in an area that stretched as far north as FM 1301 and as far south as FM 521, Bowlin said. More than 350 residents and businesses have joined in a lawsuit claiming the actions at a Sweeny-area industrial site caused their properties to flood, and that number likely will grow, said Bowlin .
The plaintiffs claim Phillips 66 employees erected temporary dams at the Linnville and Little Linnville bayous to prevent petroleum and chemical leaks at its Sweeny refining and petrochemical complex. The lawsuit alleges the Houston-based energy giant knew the efforts would cause nearby homes to flood, but that they did so anyway without notifying local communities. The lawsuit alleges that Harvey passed through the Sweeny area without causing any significant flooding, leaving residents to believe their properties survived intact. "They were wrong," the suit asserts. Phillips 66 built dams "in the dark of night" on August 30 to protect its massive refining complex. The suit contends that, because of the dams, the water level in Sweeny kept rising and flooded many homes, trapping people inside of their houses. "Unforgivably, defendants never warned a single Sweeny resident of the imminent danger upon them," the lawsuit claims. "Instead, defendants sat quietly even though their hydrologists had told them the town was going to flood because of the dams."
September 14, 2017: Texas Homeowners Sue Phillips 66 over Flooded Homes near Sweeny Refinery
ABC Channel 13 reported on September 14, 2017 that homeowners in Brazoria County have filed a lawsuit against Phillips 66 alleging that Phillips intentionally dammed the area around Sweeny Refinery with concrete and boxcars, directing the flow of water into residential areas in Sweeny and nearby Magnolia during Harvey. Plaintiffs also claim the water was contaminated with chemicals from the refinery and are asking for cash damages.
Phillips 66 released the following statement to ABC13 regarding the lawsuit: "Phillips 66 is committed to protecting the health and safety of the people involved in our operations and in the communities where we operate. During severe weather events like Hurricane Harvey, we have plans in place to protect our employees, our facilities and our communities. We are aware of concerns from the community suggesting that our actions to protect the refinery contributed to additional flooding in the area. We do not believe that to be the case, however, we are investigating the issue and have been working with local authorities. Although we experienced significant flooding in the refinery, our actions minimized the potential for release of feedstocks and products that could have negatively impacted the community and the environment."
September 6, 2017: 25-50 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Leak Near Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery
CBS Channel 5 reported on September 6, 2017 that an estimated 25 to 50 gallons of oil apparently leaked from a pipeline, causing a spill into San Pablo Bay near the Phillips 66 refinery. Crews from the Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response searched the area but did not find any signs of an oil sheen or visibly oiled wildlife. The environmental group Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement about the spill and criticized a proposal being considered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to allow the oil company to more than double the number of oil tankers allowed to make deliveries at the Rodeo refinery. “Harmful oil spills are becoming all too common for refineries in the Bay Area,” the center’s statement said. “Why would the air district allow Phillips 66 to double the number of oil tankers coming into the Bay? The next accident could be bigger and spill dirtier oil, which would spell disaster for our beautiful Bay and the communities around the refinery.”
September 3, 2017: Phillips 66 Assesses Damage at Sweeny Refinery After Tropical Storm Harvey
Reuters reported on September 3, 2017 that Phillips 66 says that 600 people are at Sweeny Refinery assessing and repairing damage from Tropical Storm Harvey in preparation for restarting the plant.
September 2, 2017: Workers Repair Levee Breach Near Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery
WDSU reported on September 2, 2017 that Plaquemines Parish officials are working to repair a levee that breached near Phillips 66's Alliance Refinery during tidal surge caused by Hurricane Harvey. Parish officials said the breach does not pose a risk of flooding to homes or Louisiana Highway 23 near the refinery. Officials said the land is remote and not easily accessible. Parish and DOTD personnel spent the day filling Hesco Baskets and transporting them to the landing zone to stage for air operations while a barge arrived carrying rocks that will be used in the repair. Crews will begin placing the rocks into the breach throughout the night, officials said.
This is not the first time the levee has breached. In 2016, the Louisiana National Guard helped the parish place sandbags to repair the levee. Officials said the breach grew to about 70 feet wide when the levee broke last spring.
August 27,2017: Phillips 66 Shuts Down Sweeny Refinery after Tropical Storm Harvey
Fox Business reported on August 27, 2017 that Phillips 66 is shutting down its 247,000-barrel-a-day Sweeny refinery near Houston due to possible flooding in the area and to keep employees safe."We are continuously monitoring the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey and preparing for potential flooding over the next several days," the company said in a statement on its website. "To ensure the safety of our employees and due to expected flooding in Brazoria County, we have initiated a shutdown of our Sweeny Refinery in Old Ocean, Texas."
August 5, 2017: Solano County Supervisor Opposes Increased Oil Tanker Traffic to Rodeo Refinery
The Vallejo Times Herald reported on August 5, 2017 that Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown has penned a strongly-worded letter to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, opposing Phillips 66’s proposal to more than double its oil tanker fleet to Rodeo Refinery. Brown suggests holding community meetings in Benicia and Vallejo to discuss the proposal and get feedback from constituents on the D.E.I.R. She also said that the public should be informed of the meetings by every means possible, through newspapers, social media and websites. “My constituents were impacted by the last Phillips 66 spill and deserve to have a voice in something that has already so negatively impacted them,” she said.
July 27, 2017: Phillips 66 Seeks to Double Oil Tanker Traffic to Rodeo Refinery
KQED reported on July 27, 2017 that Phillips 66 wants to more than double the number of oil tankers from 59 ships a year that travel through San Francisco Bay to unload crude at its refinery in Rodeo. Phillips 66 wants to increase that limit to 135 and to raise the daily average of oil unloaded at the terminal from about 51,000 barrels to 130,000. The company says the extra tanker deliveries would replace crude oil currently delivered by pipeline. It “poses an incredible new risk of oil spills to San Francisco Bay,” Sejal Choksi-Chugh, executive director for Baykeeper, said in an interview. “We’re really concerned about the increase in the number of tankers that the refinery is proposing to bring in.”
The refinery’s move toward an increase in shipping crude to its Rodeo facility and away from pipeline transfers comes after officials in San Luis Obispo County rejected the company’s proposal to transport more oil by train to its refinery there. Paul Adler, a Phillips 66 spokesman, confirmed in an email that the oil that would be brought by extra ships to the refinery would be different from the crude transported by pipeline from Central California. He declined to comment further on the proposal, adding that he would attend Thursday’s air district public scoping meeting in Vallejo where residents could ask questions about the project.
July 22, 2017: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Says Phillips 66 Borger Refinery Leads Texas in Particulate Emissions
The Amarillo Globe News reported on July 22, 2017 that Phillips 66’s Borger Refinery emitted more particulate matter than any other oil refinery from 2012 to 2016, according to data from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The refinery exceeded its allowed particulate threshold 34 times over those five years, spewing more than 300 tons in total. Emission outbursts ranged from six minutes and 20 pounds to more than two weeks and 124,000 pounds. Quantifying the pollutants’ impact on Texas Panhandle residents is difficult without a detailed scientific study, according to Erick Butler, West Texas A&M University assistant professor of environmental engineering. Factors such as wind dispersion and proximity to the refinery magnify or shrink the risk of disease.
However in a written statement, Phillips 66 director of media and external relations Dennis Nuss challenged the TCEQ data, saying it was inaccurate based on faulty refinery reporting up until February 2016. “In 2016, the Borger Refinery identified it had been over-reporting emissions for Particulate Matter of 10 Microns or less (PM10) and met with TCEQ to inform them of the reporting error,” Nuss wrote. “We have recalculated PM10 emissions to meet TCEQ reporting requirements, however, the publicly available original emission reports will remain unchanged. Based on updated calculations, the Borger Refinery PM10 emissions are significantly less than reflected in this report.”
July 8, 2017: Fire Fighters Contain Blaze Near Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery
NBA Bay Area reported on July 8, 2017 that a fast-moving brush fire in Rodeo has scorched at least 370 acres of dried grass and burned its way close a Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery but firefighters were able to halt the flames from reaching the refinery. The blaze is 75 percent contained as of Saturday night, and crews will remain on scene overnight in order to reach full containment and battle any hot spots.
July 7, 2017: Phillips 66 Blames Contractor for Hydrofluoric Acid Leak at Ferndale Refinery That Sent 7 Workers to the Hospital
The Bellingham Herald reported on July 7, 2017 that Phillips 66 is appealing its $37,800 fine for a February hydrofluoric acid leak at its Ferndale Refinery that sent seven workers to the hospital. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries deemed the incident as “serious" and found that Phillips “did not implement safe work practices for the control of hazards for the employees” and the company “did not inform the contract employer of the known potential fire, explosion or toxic release hazards related to the contractor’s work and the process.”
Phillips disagrees with the assessment of the fine, saying a contractor was at fault. “The incident in question occurred when a trained contractor improperly disconnected an enclosed rod out tool from an open drain valve in the alkylation unit,” Phillips stated in its appeal. “The incident was not caused by the failure to develop or implement safe work practices, but by a contractor’s failure to follow them." A hearings officer will decide the matter by Aug. 28, according to L&I spokeswoman Elaine Fischer.
July 1, 2017: Two Oil Tanker Crashes Raise Concerns About Safety of Oil Trucks Going to Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery
The Tribune reported on July 1, 2017 that the recent crash of a tanker truck carrying 6,200 gallons of highly-flammable crude oil to Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery has raised concerns about the 52 trucks a day carrying thousands of gallons of crude that rumble through San Luis Obispo County to the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa for at least another year. The crash occurred 2.5 miles from its destination at the Phillips 66 refinery when the brakes went out and it rolled off the road to avoid a car. No one was injured, and less than a gallon of oil spilled. “It gives us concern that if that happened before, it will happen again. That’s just the inevitability of it,” said Laurance Shinderman, of Nipomo, who is active in the Mesa Refinery Watch Group. The intersection of Willow Road and Highway 1 where the semitruck crashed last week is frequented by tanker trucks and is a concern to local residents like Shinderman, who witness cars zooming by in low visibility sometimes caused by low-lying fog. They are especially concerned because of a sharp right turn near the intersection.
Another Phillips 66 oil tanker crash occurred last fall that ended in a driver’s death. According to the California Highway Patrol, Elias Garcia, 45, of Bakersfield had just unloaded his truck when his wife called to check on him about 2 a.m. Sept. 13, 2016. Garcia told her he was tired and on his way home. He never made it. Officers suspect he fell asleep at the wheel around 7:30 a.m. on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. The tanker swerved over the double-yellow lines and slammed into several oncoming trucks. He was ejected into a dirt field and pronounced dead at the scene.
Hundreds of tanker trucks have been delivering oil to Santa Maria Refinery, and to a pump station in Santa Maria to fill a supply gap created by the shutdown of the Plains All American Pipeline in Santa Barbara County in May 2015. The district last year issued a notice of violation to the company for violating Health and Safety Code and county rules by failing to inform the county about the refinery receiving oil trucks. Phillips 66 wracked up civil penalties for 61 days that could have been assessed at up to $610,000. It settled the violation with the county in May by agreeing to pay $15,914 to the district.
June 28, 2017: Firm That Provided Security on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Did Not Have Permit to Operate in North Dakota
The Billings Gazette reported on June 28, 2017 that North Dakota's governor, top law officer and military leader all say they were unaware that a private security firm hired by the developer of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, has been operating illegally in the state without a license. North Dakota's Private Investigative and Security Board first notified TigerSwan in September it was unlicensed, and in December rejected its application, citing the alleged criminal history of the company's president. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, the state's top law enforcement officer, said he did not "recall being made aware" of TigerSwan's involvement or lack of a license. "Certainly, If I had known they were operating, I would have advised them to comply with the law," he said.
The regulatory board has asked a state judge to stop TigerSwan's armed workers from continuing to monitor the pipeline system and requested administrative fines be levied against the company and its president, James Reese, for operating without a license, a misdemeanor carrying a potential sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. The regulatory board alleges in court documents that TigerSwan employees with semi-automatic rifles and handguns protected workers and equipment at construction sites, conducted intelligence on protesters including placing or trying to place undercover agents within the protest groups, and even monitored traffic on a state highway. The board also says TigerSwan is still providing round-the-clock security along the pipeline in the state.
Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, the leader of the state's National Guard, said he did not know until Wednesday that TigerSwan was operating illegally. "The National Guard had absolutely no interaction with them," said Dohrmann, whose troops spent months monitoring the protest and helped law enforcement remove protesters from the site in south-central North Dakota in February. "If there was any interaction between our folks and them, it was only through casual conversation," Dohrmann said. "Through official Guard channels, there was no coordination."
TigerSwan was founded by retired military special forces members. Internal company documents indicate that employees conducted an aggressive, multifaceted operation against pipeline protesters that included maintaining a close working relationship with public law enforcement. "When you have an organization like TigerSwan come in and start to influence decisions by law enforcement and even leadership in the state, you have to step back and say, where is the safety, where is the justice?" Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault said.
June 19, 2017: James Cullin Says Moving Away from the Ponca City Refinery Improved His Health
The Lehigh Valley Business reported on June 19, 2017 that James Cullin was born in Ponca City down the street from the Ponca City Refinery and that he experienced first hand the effects the facility had on his health as a child. When he was younger, Cullin said, his doctor strongly encouraged him to move. “Getting out of that neighborhood when I moved into the dorms my freshman year of college, my health improved. Go figure,” Cullin said. “My health improved again when I moved out of state. Again, go figure. All this only served to emphasize the importance to me of getting away from a fossil fuel-dominated energy industry.” Despite his personal and professional support for developing renewable energy sources, Cullin said there is no way fossil fuel demand can be eliminated from the energy sector, given the state of the country’s infrastructure. “It is neither feasible nor realistic to expect a complete changeover to renewables in a short time,” he said. “There will always likely be a need for small-scale use of fossil fuels, but long-term, big-picture, converting our energy infrastructure to utilize 100 percent renewable sources is the only viable option if we don’t want to irreversibly screw up the planet.”
June 16, 2017: Phillips 66 Slapped With Two "Public Nuisance" Violations for Oil Sheen Incident at Rodeo Refinery that Resulted in 1,500 Odor Complaints and 120 Hospital Visits
The Times Herald reported on June 16, 2017 that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued two “public nuisance” violations to Phillips 66 stemming from a September 20, 2016, oil sheen incident on the San Pablo Bay that resulted in nearly 1,500 odor complaints and an estimated 120 visits to Solano County hospitals. “The air district thoroughly investigated this incident and determined the Phillips 66 Refinery and the Yamuna Spirit oil tanker operator played a role in this event and both parties will be held accountable,” said Jack Broadbent in a statement, executive officer at the district. On the day of the event, a noxious smell blanketed the city of Vallejo. The fire department reported that over 800 residents called complaining of the strong smell of natural gas, gasoline, and “rotten eggs.” The odor was so strong that it could be detected as far away as Redwood and Broadway. A shelter-in-place order was given around 8 p.m. for south Vallejo and it was lifted the following morning. Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan applauded the air district’s decision. “I hope we can find these people accountable,” Sampayan said by phone on Friday afternoon. “There was no reason to have this happen.” Fines for these violations have yet to be assessed by the air district.
June 15, 2017: Judge Delivers Blow To Trump Administration in Fight Over Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
NPR reported on June 15, 2017 that U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg has ruled that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project, funded in part by Phillips 66. In a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists, who protested for months against the pipeline, the judge ruled that the Corps "failed to adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on Standing Rock's fishing and hunting rights and on environmental justice, and in February 2017, it did not sufficiently weigh the degree to which the project's effects are likely to be highly controversial in light of critiques of its scientific methods and data."
This ruling does not order a halt to pipeline operations. But it opens the door to that possibility. The judge writes that the standard remedy in this situation would be to vacate the pipeline's permits and easement, thereby halting pipeline operations until the Army Corps is in compliance with environmental procedures. "Such a move, of course, would carry serious consequences that a court should not lightly impose," Boasberg says. He ordered the parties to submit briefings about the legal question and scheduled a status hearing for June 21, 2017.
"This is a major victory for the Tribe, and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing," Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. "The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline, and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately."
June 12, 2017: Bay Area Residents Asked to Comment on Proposal to Expand Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Marine Terminal
The East Bay Times reported on June 12, 2017 that Phillips 66 wants to receive and process more crude and gas oil delivered by ship for their Rodeo Refinery while reducing the amounts of crude currently delivered to the refinery by pipeline. The revision would not affect the characteristics of the oils the refinery is able to process, the press release adds. The Bay Area air district will hold a community meeting in Hercules on June 22 about the scope and content of the upcoming environmental analysis of Phillips' marine terminal proposal. Air District staff members will make a presentation, and community members will get a chance to ask questions and make comments.
Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal in October 2016
The East Bay Times reported on October 20, 2016 that the mysterious oil sheens that appeared on San Pablo Bay on September 20, 2016 were connected to a crude oil tanker or the Phillips 66 refinery, the U.S. Coast Guard announced. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Authorities were unable to determine if the sheen found in the bay originated from the Yumuna Spirit of the Phillips 66 facility. The U.S. Coast Guard said the vessel and the facility are responsible for recovering federal related response costs. The Coast Guard could not determine what caused the odor that sent dozens of people to hospitals in Vallejo with complaints of headaches, nausea and dizziness on September 20, 2016.
KQED reported on October 18, 2016 that officials have revealed a clue that could help determine what caused the oil spill in San Pablo Bay a month ago and a sickening odor that sent dozens of people to the hospital in Vallejo around the same time. Results of tests taken of the substance found in the water in late September show that it was crude oil from the Middle East, according to an official with California’s lead agency for responding to oil spills. Randy Sawyer, chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa County Health Services, says the crude must have come from an oil tanker at a marine terminal in Rodeo. “Based on the analysis and where the sheen was located, the oil sheen originated from the ship while it was unloading to Phillips 66,” Sawyer said. I’s unclear how the oil might have leaked from the vessel. “I know that Phillips did check their piping and there were no leaks,” Sawyer said. “There may have been a portion of the piping (that was) not tested.”
Phillips 66 declined to comment on the investigation and activity of the Yamuna Spirit at its marine terminal. “Phillips 66 generally does not comment on activity as it relates to our crude supply and transportation arrangements,” said Aimee Lohr, a refinery spokeswoman.
When the investigation is concluded, local environmentalists say whoever is responsible should be held accountable. “The perpetrators need to face stiff penalties for this absolutely unacceptable oil spill,” said Patrick Sullivan, an Oakland-based spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity. “But even the steepest fines won’t undo the damage this oil has done to the bay,” Sullivan said. “That’s why we’ve got to move away from shipping dirty crude through California’s fragile coastal ecosystems.”
- See also Health Official Says Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Needs to Notify Local Agencies Faster Next Time it Learns of an Oil Spill Near its Facility September 28, 2016
- See also Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Is Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill September 16, 2016
June 2, 2017: Odor Said to Be From Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery Sends Students Home Early
The Lyden Tribune reported on June 2, 2017 that students at Horizon Middle and Cascadia, Skyline and Eagleridge elementary schools, all within a mile of each other near Thornton Road, reported a strange odor at about noon on June 1, according to the Ferndale School District. Staff and students also reported feeling sick, with symptoms of burning eyes and coughing. Students were sheltered in place while the cause of the odor was investigated. The Northwest Clean Air Agency responded to the reports of the strong odor after receiving phone calls from residents starting around 1:30 p.m. One caller said the source appeared to be the Phillips 66 refinery at 3901 Unick Rd., about two miles southwest of the schools. Officials from Phillips 66 told a NWCAA inspector that an “upset,” or operational problem, in the refining process caused a strong sulfur odor on site, and that it dissipated by mid-afternoon. “There could be any number of causes [for the upset] during the operation of large, complex industrial processes,” said Seth Preston, air agency representative. “In this case, we are working with Phillips 66 to determine what exactly happened and the cause of the problem.”
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that winds were blowing in the direction of the schools at the time of the Thursday refinery upset, he said. Although there is no direct link, Preston said the reactions of students and others in the area were consistent with the strong odors reported at the refinery. The NWCAA is working with Phillips to determine the cause, he said. Responding agencies on site, including a NWCAA inspector, could not locate or verify an exact source of the odor.
However according to the Bellingham Herald by June 6, 2017 the Northwest Clean Air Agency said that they haven’t been able to verify the source. “The stumbling block for us is that by the time we got an inspector up there to investigate, there was no detectable odor,” said Seth Preston, a spokesman for the agency based in Mount Vernon. It’s possible the Phillips refinery was involved, said John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office. But he’s skeptical. The upset at the refinery occurred around 8:30 a.m., long before people started to smell something in Ferndale, according to Phillips’ report to local officials. “Were they related?” Gargett said. “Maybe, but that’s about as far we’ve gotten.” Officials have looked into many possible causes: local farms, or a pipeline leak, or even something unpleasant being shipped by rail, but so far they’ve come up with nothing. The other companies that refine or transport oil products along the shoreline of Whatcom County – BP and Kinder Morgan – also found no problems.
June 2, 2017: Phillip 66 Sweeny Refinery Reports Power Blip
Fox Business reported on June 2, 2017 that Phillips 66 Sweeny Reingery reported a power blip and emissions. "The deluge system activated at the Cogen Unit causing the GSU2 transformer to arc, resulting in a low voltage power dip," the refinery said in a statement to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "This resulted in the tripping of three transformers on the Electrostatic Precipitator." The refinery said the transformer reset itself and power was restored. "The power blip lasted only seconds but was enough to cause the excess opacity," it said.
May 31, 2017: San Francisco Pollution Board Moves Closer to Capping Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Phillips 66 and Other Refineries
The Times Herlad reported on May 31, 2017 that the San Francisco Bay Area’s air pollution board took a big step toward becoming the first in America to cap greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries including the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery. Air district officials said the rule to limit greenhouse gases on the Bay Area’s five oil refineries is needed to prevent an increase in the pollution if oil refineries switch to using dirtier crude oil sources from places like the Canadian tar sands area. “This rule will be part of a larger effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “This action is important in light of the anticipated withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement by President Trump.”
A divided audience of some 200 people attended a meeting about the rule. Oil refiners said the rule could end up having no impact on global climate change. Oil refining could shift from the Bay Area to states with more lenient environmental laws, providing no net reduction in greenhouse gases, oil industry representatives said. Oil refinery workers and petroleum company representatives were unhappy, saying the rule could limit production at the plants, cost jobs, and raise fuel prices.
Oil refineries are the largest single industrial source of greenhouse gases in the Bay Area. The Bay Area’s five refineries are Chevron in Richmond, Shell in Martinez, Valero in Benicia, Tesoro north of Concord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo.
May 28, 2017: Fugitive Causes $1 million in Damage to Borger Chemical Plant During High Speed Car Chase
Amarillo.com reported on May 28, 2017 that Hutchinson County law enforcement caught a fugitive wanted in at least three counties after a chase that damaged the Chevron Phillips 66 refinery in Borger. Angel Vasquez allegedly crashed through several gates at the chemical plant, causing extensive damage. Hutchinson County Sheriff Kirk Coker said the estimated damages may be near $1 million. “He was doing 85 mph (in a 20 mph zone) when he broke the gate,” he said. The suspect totaled the pickup, which was stolen from Amarillo, while on the grounds of the plant and continued on foot. A civilian used his helicopter to assist, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice brought in canines. When the suspect was located, he’d changed clothes. Coker said he was in possession of $12,000 to $15,000 worth of radios from the chemical plant, “where he apparently broke in and found the clothes he changed into.”
May 27, 2017: Military-Style Tactics Used Against Protesters of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
The Des Moines Register reported on May 27, 2017 that TigerSwan, founded by retired members of the U.S. military's Delta Force unit, was employed by Energy Transfer Partners to target protesters opposed to the Phillips 66 funded Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counter-terrorism measures and closely collaborated with law enforcement authorities in five states. The Intercept, a non-profit watchdog journalism organization, says it obtained internal TigerSwan documents that described the anti-pipeline movement as an "ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component" and compared the anti-pipeline activists to jihadist fighters. "While we can expect to see the continued spread of the anti-DAPL diaspora … aggressive intelligence preparation of the battlefield and active coordination between intelligence and security elements are now a proven method of defeating pipeline insurgencies," according to internal TigerSwan communications, the report said.
The leaked documents include situation reports prepared by TigerSwan operatives in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Texas between September 2016 and May 2017, and delivered to Energy Transfer Partners, the report said. "They offer a daily snapshot of the security firm’s activities, including detailed summaries of the previous day’s surveillance targeting pipeline opponents, intelligence on upcoming protests, and information harvested from social media. The documents also provide extensive evidence of aerial surveillance and radio eavesdropping, as well as infiltration of camps and activist circles," according to The Intercept. David Goodner, an Iowa activist who helped to plan anti-pipeline protests in southeast Iowa's Lee County last fall, told The Register Saturday he believes The Intercept's report is the tip of the iceberg.
Adam Mason, state policy director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, said The Intercept report confirms his belief that "big business and big ag" are pulling the levers of government in Iowa. "This is the perfect example where you see law enforcement and public safety officials working together for big corporations to the detriment of everyday people," Mason said.
May 26, 2017: Phillips 66 Get Go-Ahead to Sue San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Over Santa Maria Refinery Oil Train Terminal
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on May 26, 2017 that San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry T. LaBarbera said he will allow Phillips 66 to sue the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in a lawsuit that includes new allegations based on what happened at hearings on the project March 13 and 14 when speakers from across California urged the board to reject the so-called bomb trains. Supervisors voted 3-1 to deny the company’s plan to extend railroad at its Santa Maria Refinery on the Nipomo Mesa to allow deliveries of crude by rail from across North America.
The judge has now ruled against the county and environmental groups with a decision to allow Phillips 66 to file a new civil complaint. Environmental groups had argued that the company’s litigation was an attempt “to undermine and circumvent local agency jurisdiction.” LaBarbera said he would not address that issue and cited case law that said, generally, a judge will not consider the validity of the proposed complaint when deciding whether it can be filed. In its lawsuit, the company will ask the court to direct the board to set aside its findings about environmentally sensitive habitat at the location of the proposed project. The case will return to court in August.
May 25, 2017: Phillips Pays New Jersey $39 million Settlement Over Ground Water Contamination
KRGV reported on May 25, 2017 that New Jersey officials say they reached a $39 million settlement with Phillips 66 over ground water contamination. Attorney General Christopher Porrino says Phillips 66 (then ConocoPhillips) was one of 50 oil and chemical firms sued in 2007 by the state over ground water contamination. The state argued that the defendants were responsible for contamination from a gasoline additive called MTBE. In 2012 ConocoPhillips transferred some assets and liabilities, including MTBE cases, to Phillips 66. Phillips 66 Spokesman Dennis Nuss says the case was settled on "mutually acceptable" terms.
May 10, 2017: Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Leaked 84 Gallons in April
AP reported on May 11, 2017 that Dakota Access pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, leaked 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota in April, which an American Indian tribe says bolsters its argument that the pipeline jeopardizes its water supply and deserves further environmental review. The April 4 spill was relatively small and was quickly cleaned up, and it didn’t threaten any waterways. The leak occurred at a rural pump station in the northeast of the state as crews worked to get the four-state pipeline fully operational, Walsh said. The oil was contained on site by a plastic liner and containment walls and quickly cleaned up. Some oil-contaminated gravel will be disposed of at an area landfill, he said.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe said the leak proves that the pipeline is a threat to its water and cultural sites. “These spills are going to be nonstop,” tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said. “With 1,200 miles of pipeline, spills are going to happen. Nobody listened to us. Nobody wants to listen, because they’re driven by money and greed.”
April 26, 2017: Phillips 66 Pays $61,000 Fine for Environmental Violations at Borger Refinery
News Channel 10 reported on April 26, 2017 that Phillips 66 settled for almost $61,000 for the release of pollutants including hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide from its oil refinery near Borger in what the state of Texas has called "violations of environmental laws".
April 17, 2017: Phillips 66 Won't Appeal Decision to Stop Oil Trains Coming to Santa Maria Refinery But the Fight is Not Over
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 17, 2017 that Phillips 66 won’t appeal San Luis Obispo County’s decision rejecting its oil-by-rail plan to the California Coastal Commission, but it will continue the fight in court. “The window is closed, and they did not file an appeal. The Board of Supervisors’ decision stands,” said Cassidy Teufel, a senior energy scientist with the Coastal Commission.
However in an amended petition filed against the county on March 22 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Phillips 66 contends the county missed a filing deadline over the issue of environmentally sensitive habitat and also that the zoning law is unconstitutional because it doesn’t allow Phillips an opportunity to be heard. If Judge Barry LaBarbera agrees with the company, the county Planning Department would have to revisit its findings, triggering a new land-use decision. His decision could be challenged to an appellate court. “They knew they were going into strong headwinds (if Phillips filed an appeal with the Coastal Commission). Now they’re going to try to make an end run around on a technicality,” said Laurance Shinderman, a volunteer with the rail spur-opposition group, Mesa Refinery Watch Group. “A good neighbor wouldn’t do that."
April 5, 2017: Small California Towns Are Facing Off Against Oil Companies Like Phillips 66 and Winning
Grist reported on April 5, 2017 that on March 14, 2017 the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors shut down a Phillips 66 crude-by-rail plan to bring oil into its Nipomo Mesa refinery. The 3-to-1 vote (with one recusal) against the proposal represented a huge change in a county that for years had supported refinery projects. “[This] is a pretty new effort to work with leaders and community organizations to engage in local elections that are critical for climate and environmental justice issues,” said Whit Jones, the East Coast–based campaign director for Lead Locally, a new project of the Advocacy Fund and which provided electoral support in Benicia, Oxnard, and Arvin. “We partnered with community organizations in California last year to make sure that voters’ demands to stop oil train terminals, or to stop fracking, were heard at the ballot box.” Another new group, Leadership for a Clean Economy, also worked in these communities, in partnership with many local environmental justice organizations.
With the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration now headed by Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, environmentalists may attempt more victories at the local level. “They’re simpler, in a way,” Jones said of local policy campaigns. “The people in the community understand the issues because these things are proposed in their backyards. This isn’t some obscure, abstract conversation about the nation’s energy policy or climate change; this is about whether or not a polluting facility will be sited in their town.”
Other California towns have also successfully fought large oil companies. In the Kern County town of Arvin, which 10 years ago won the dubious distinction of having the smoggiest air of any U.S. city, a 23-year-old city councilman was elected mayor on a promise to regulate the oil industry and protect the city’s water and air — a huge task in California’s biggest oil-producing county. Benecia, a small refinery town in Northern California stood up against its biggest employer and taxpayer. Valero, the Texas-based petroleum giant, had sought routine approval for a huge crude-by-rail project. The city council of Benicia, however, decisively rejected Valero’s proposal. “We had a small, but extremely well-informed group of people who have been working on these issues for a long time,” said Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson, “and I give all the credit to that group.” Patterson is a longtime environmentalist who has been mayor since 2007 and was reelected in November.
April 4, 2017: Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Is Complete
FuelFix reported on April 4, 2017 that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, is complete and the pipeline is now being filled with crude to prepare it for service in mid-April. Energy Transfer Partners expects it to take a few more weeks to fill the line with oil. Then the company will fill the next line in the system. The company expects the full Bakken system to be in service by June 1.
Dakota Access was the focus of heated protests and sometimes violent clashes with authorities for months last year. Environmentalists saw it as a symbol of global warming and the proliferation of fossil fuel use. The Standing Rock Sioux, who tapped the Missouri River for tribal water, argued that the pipeline’s river crossing threatened the tribe’s main water source, and also traversed sacred burial grounds.
April 3, 2017: Deadline Looms for Phillips 66 to Appeal Rejection of Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 3, 2017 that Phillips 66 only has until April 14 to appeal San Luis Obispo County’s rejection of its proposed Santa Maria Refinery oil-by-rail project to the California Coastal Commission. The county issued a notice of final county action last week, announcing that Phillips 66 had exhausted its appeals at the county level and can now appeal the matter to the Coastal Commission, triggering a 10-business-day countdown to the filing deadline. The company has not announced whether it will appeal to the commission.
March 31, 2017: Proposal to Limit Greenhouse Gases Could Affect Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery
The Mercury News reported on March 31, 2017 that 120 people attended the workshop that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District held about its two proposed rules aimed at limiting air pollution from five Bay Area oil refineries near San Francisco including Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery. Environmentalists and some plant neighbors said a proposed numeral cap on greenhouse and other emissions is needed to prevent increased pollution if plants switch to dirtier crude oil sources such as from Canadian tar sands areas. “We think this cap is needed to prevent serious and irreversible effects,” said Greg Karras, a senior scientist with Communities for a Better Environment, a statewide environmental group with offices in Oakland. “The rule is designed to allow other measures to reduce emissions, but we have to stop increasing them first.”
Some oil industry workers attacked the cap. They said refineries have reduced their air emissions dramatically over the past four decades and yet the proposed cap could lead to production cuts and losses of high-paying jobs. “I am very concerned the cap would cost jobs,” said Mike Miller, president of the United Steelworkers Local 326 unit chair representing workers at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. While the push to reduce fossil fuel use will produce more solar industry jobs, Miller said, it would be difficult for refinery workers with homes and families to survive on $13-an-hour jobs as solar installers. Air pollution district managers do not support the cap. They said they fear the cap would be vulnerable to a legal challenge as unfairly singling out the oil industry. The cap also could interfere with the state’s cap-and-trade system in which industries can buy pollution credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
March 26, 2017: How Local Citizens Built a Successful Movement to Keep Phillips 66's Oil Trains Out of their Backyard Near the Santa Maria Refinery
In December 2013, a couple of neighbors from an upscale residential development on California's Central Coast attended a community meeting at a middle school in Arroyo Grande to learn about a new project proposed by oil giant Phillips 66 for its Santa Maria refinery, which sits near the ocean below the Nipomo Mesa, where they live.
Now the LA Times has published a major story on March 26, 2017 about how a group of 12 California citizens stated a movement with one burning mission: to keep Phillips 66's oil trains out of their backyard in Nipomo, California. For more than two years, Martin Akel emailed a professional-caliber, monthly newsletter to about 2,000 supporters, 1,000 government officials and several hundred members of the media. At public hearings, the oil train opponents delivered lots of grim news about the dangers of crude oil trains, which they called “bomb trains,” but overall they were upbeat. Wearing referee shirts, they would set up tables adorned with bowls of candy. “We’d say, ‘Stop by the zebra table and we will orient you,” said Akel. “If they spoke, we would give them candy. I spent a lot of money on candy, and I didn’t put in for reimbursement.”
What the neighbors, mostly retired professionals who had moved here from places such as Irvine and New Jersey, loved most about the area was its bucolic splendor, lower cost of living, and slower pace. Phillips 66 had always shipped oil to and from the Santa Maria refinery by pipeline. Now it was proposing a new way to deliver the crude: by train. And it would have to build a new rail spur at its refinery to accommodate mile-long oil trains, coming in on Union Pacific’s main line, at the rate of three a week, each carrying 2.2 million gallons of crude.
Each time Phillips 66 or its proponents claimed that oil trains were safe, that the kind of oil it wanted to transport was safe, or that Union Pacific tracks are safe, the Mesa Refinery Watch Group was able to point and laugh. They researched every oil train derailment and explosion, the type of oil transported, the type of tankers used, and track conditions. “They said we aren’t going to bring in any oil that’s dangerous,” Akel said, “and we stood up at a meeting and said, ‘Are you bringing in Bakken crude from North Dakota?’ And they said, ‘We may.’ We went crazy on that. Bakken crude killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic [Quebec].” “Obliterated a whole town,” said Shinderman. When Phillips said it would transport crude oil in “the absolute safest tankers that exist,” said Akel, the group did its homework. There are no fail-safe tankers. “Guess what? When they fall over, they rupture and everything goes boom.”
“Phillips 66 used to come to Trilogy every year and ply residents with shrimp and booze,” said Akel. “Around Christmas,” said Gary McKible. “It was a goodwill thing.” “They haven’t been for two years,” said Akel. “Maybe it was something we said.”
March 13, 2017: San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Chambers Packed for Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Appeal Hearing
The Santa Maria Times reported on March 13, 2017 that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors chambers were filled with 160 opponents of a controversial proposal by Phillips 66 to bring crude oil to its Santa Maria Refinery via trains. Half of those spoke during the daylong meeting and most speakers voiced opposition to the plans. "This is the first time in 15 years we have ever spoken outside Santa Barbara County," said Ken Hough, Santa Barbara County Action Network executive director. "We never had the need to ... until now." Hough told the supervisors that his organization stands with Santa Barbara County in its opposition to the proposed rail spur project. Oil train opponents gathered at noontime outside the courthouse across the street from the government center for a "SLO Clean Energy Crossroads Rally," which featured a human train and chants of, "Hey, Phillips, what do we know?" "No, trains in S-L-O."
Phillips 66 has argued the rail spur is necessary for the company to support plant operations because it doesn't own local crude oil production fields and must transport crude to the facility. Crude oil now is piped to the Phillips 66 facility that's located on the Nipomo Mesa, as well as trucked in to the plant. "I'm here to tell about a project that's crucial to the viability of the refinery," said Jim Anderson, Phillips 66 maintenance superintendent, noting that since the shutdown of the Plains All American pipeline, which spilled near Refugio State Beach in 2015, production at the refinery has been reduced by 50 percent.
People from the Central Coast as well as from Northern California protested, some carrying signs that said “No Way in San Jose” and “Stop Oil Trains.” U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, Northern Chumash Tribal Council spokesman Fred Collins and Northern Chumash Tribal Council member Violet Cavanaugh were among the speakers. Afterward, protesters marched from the County Government Center through downtown, led by a symbolic train formed by members of 350 Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based climate change group. “We came to speak out against the oil trains. It also affects us,” said Justin Massey, who traveled to San Luis Obispo with the Sacramento Climate Coalition. “It’s an immense risk for a very shortsighted profit for Phillips 66.”
March 10, 2017: Thousands March in Washington DC to Protest Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
Mother Jones reported on March 10, 2017 that thousands of indigenous nations and environmental activists descended on Washington, D.C. for what they called the Native Nations Rise march and rally. The 1.5 mile march from the US Army Corps of Engineers headquarters to the White House was the culmination of a week-long event that included cultural workshops and panels. Protesters wore traditional garb and danced, while speakers in the adjacent park rallied the audience by leading marchers in "We stand with Standing Rock" chants. The crowd of approximately 2,000 at Native Nations Rise was diverse and in high spirits despite the blustering wind and intermittent rain. Rachel, 19-years-old, drove to the rally from Columbus, Ohio. "Fast-tracking the pipeline was the final nail in the coffin for me," she says. Cody, who is 21 and drove east with Rachel, is still a Bernie Sanders supporter because "he was the only one who came out," in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Signs declaring, "Water is Life" and "People Over Pipelines" peppered the crowd. It is unclear what will happen next and if the tribes have any more legal avenues to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. As indigenous people sang tribal songs and chanted in their languages in front of the Trump White House, one visual message was clear: In the middle of the park where demonstrators gathered was a large, red, "Make America Great Again" hat—with an arrow through the middle.
March 10, 2017: Judge Rules Against Phillips 66's Legal Appeal over Planning Commission’s Decision to Reject Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Project
Cal Coast News reported on March 10, 2017 that San Luis Obispo Judge Barry LaBarbera ruled against a legal appeal filed by Phillips 66 over the SLO County Planning Commission’s decision to reject the oil company’s Nipomo rail spur project paving the way for board of supervisors hearings on the project to begin next week. Phillips 66 sought to obtain a court order sending the case back to the planning commission on the grounds that the commission misapplied land use rules in designating an area to be an environmentally sensitive habit area (ESHA), and thus rending the location undevelopable. The planning commission made the designation after the rail spur project was already accepted, violating a land use ordinance deadline and wasting the company’s time and money, Phillips 66’s attorneys argued.
The judge sided with Phillips 66 on one point. The oil company had argued that the ordinance the planning commission used to reject the project was unconstitutional because it is vague. The California Constitution bars the county from ruling on that matter, LaBarbera said. According to LaBarbera’s ruling, Phillips 66 can file an amended complaint pertaining to the constitutionality issue alone. Special board of supervisors hearings on the Phillips 66 appeal are set to begin Monday and continue through the week.
February 17, 2017: Remains of Missing Worker Recovered After Phillip 66 Pipeline Explosion
The Times-Picayune reported on February 17, 2017 that the remains of pipeline worker Josh Helms, who had been missing since the February 9 explosion at a Philips 66 pipeline in Paradis, have been recovered, according to Louisiana State Police Troop B spokeswoman Melissa Matey. Six workers, including Helms, were cleaning the pipeline when the fire erupted around 7 p.m. February 9. Two were taken to the hospital with injuries, including a contract worker who was later flown to a burn unit in Baton Rouge, according to St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said. The other worker was released from the hospital. "The Phillips 66 family is saddened by the loss of our colleague, Josh Helms," the company wrote on its Facebook page. "We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends."
February 17, 2017: San Jose Residents Rally To Derail Plan That Would Send Phillips 66 Oil Tankers Through Their City to Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery
The Mercury News reported on February 17, 2017 that San Jose residents and local activists have organized a march Sunday and community meeting Thursday to remind the public that the fight to prevent flammable crude oil from being hauled on rail through Willow Glen and other neighborhoods up and down the state isn’t over. Although the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission last year denied Phillips 66’s request to expand its refinery in Santa Maria, the company appealed the decision to that county’s board of supervisors, which is expected to review the proposal next month. If the board approves the refinery expansion, Phillips 66 plans to send 80 tank cars carrying about 2.2 million total gallons of Bakken crude oil from Canada or North Dakota roughly 2,500 miles to the refinery, cutting through Diridon Station and northern Willow Glen along the way. “A lot of people in San Jose think this project is over with because the planning department in San Luis Obispo rejected it,” said Stew Plock, a member of 350 Silicon Valley. “The problem is the oil company can appeal it, which is what they’ve done. That’s why we’re trying to reawaken people to the fact that this is not over yet.”
District 6 Councilwoman Devora “Dev” Davis, who grew up in North Dakota where much of the crude oil would come from, is no stranger to the controversial project. A number of derailments and other disasters related to oil trains have been documented in her native state over the past several years, which is why she doesn’t want them coming through her district. “Running oil trains through residential areas is dangerous, and I am opposed to it,” Davis said in a statement. “Oil trains in other parts of the country have caused tragic disasters over the last few years. We must avoid the danger through our densely populated city.”
Representatives from Phillips 66 declined to comment.
February 12, 2017: Missing Worker Believed Dead in Phillips 66 Pipeline Blast in Louisiana
Reuters reported that Josh Helms, of Thibodaux, Louisiana, missing since a Thursday night explosion at a Phillips 66 natural gas liquids pipeline station in Louisiana is believed dead, the company said. The body of the missing worker is thought to be near the site of the fire, which continued to burn on Saturday, Phillips 66 said in a statement. The blaze, though reduced in size, still prevented searchers from reaching the site on Saturday. Helms joined Phillips 66 when the company acquired the River Parish pipeline system in November. Helms has worked on pipelines for eight years.
February 12, 2017: One Worker Remains Hospitalized After HydroFluoric Acid Leak at Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery
Reuters reported that one contract worker remained hospitalized on Saturday after a hydrofluoric acid leak at Phillips 66's Ferndale, Washington, refinery on Friday, the company said in a statement. The leak was from the refinery's alkylation unit according to a report on the Bellingham Herald newspaper website. Alkylation units are considered the most dangerous in a refinery because a release of hydrofluoric acid from an explosion or fire could spread a possibly lethal vapor cloud across surrounding communities.
Dangers of Hydrofluoric Acid
According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, Hydrofluoric acid, known for its ability to race long distances in a cloud, is extremely toxic. It causes lung congestion, inflammation and severe burns of the skin and digestive tract. It attacks the eyes and bones. Experiments in 1986 detected the acid at potentially deadly levels almost two miles from the point of release. Despite decades-old warnings that the compound, commonly called HF, could cause mass casualties — and despite the availability of a safer alternative — 50 of the nation’s 148 refineries continue to rely on it. At least 16 million Americans, many of them unaware of the threat, live in the potential path of HF if it were to be released in an accident or a terrorist attack, a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News has found. The government maintains closely controlled reports outlining worst-case scenarios involving highly hazardous chemicals. The Center reviewed reports for the 50 refineries that use HF. The reports describe the most extreme accidents anticipated by the plants’ owners. The information is not published and is not easily accessible by the public.
According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, the refining industry plays down the risks of Hydrofluoric acid, saying it has adequate safeguards in place and the chances of a catastrophic accident at any one location are slim. “There hasn’t been any HF release that has impacted the communities,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. “We’ve controlled them.” The industry should take the threat more seriously, said Paul Orum, a chemical safety consultant who works with public-interest groups. “These are low-probability, high-consequence events, which is why any individual company is not, by itself, motivated to make potentially expensive changes to a safer technology,” Orum said. Refiners use HF as a catalyst to make high-octane gasoline. A few companies, under pressure from advocacy groups and regulators, have switched to a modified form of the acid, which still poses significant risks to workers and communities but is less likely to travel as far. No refinery owner has embraced a product known as solid acid catalyst, which union officials and chemical safety experts say is far safer than HF. The industry says that making a switch would prove too complicated and expensive. The cost of shifting from HF to alternatives is somewhere between $50 million and $150 million per refinery.
- Learn More about the Dangers of Hydrofluoric Acid Used in Oil Refineries
Hydrofluoric Acid Used at Ponca City Refinery
According to a report by KOCO News in 2011, the Phillips 66 refinery in Ponca City is one of three refineries in Oklahoma that use Hydrofluoric acid. The other Oklahoma refineries that use Hydrofluoric acid are the Valero Refinery in Ardmore and the Gary Williams Corporation Refinery in Wynnewood. According to a memorandum from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division dated June 8, 2010, the HF Alkylation Unit (Alky) at Ponca City Refinery uses hydrofluoric (HF) acid as a catalyst to promote the reaction of olefin with isobutane to form high-octane gasoline blending components. The olefin feed stream to the unit is produced in the fluid catalytic cracking and delayed coking processes. As mentioned in the No. 5 FCCU process description, the olefin feed is split into a propane-propylene stream (PP) and a butane-butylene stream (BB). The BB stream is treated for H2S removal in the Alky Unit BB Merox Treater prior to feeding the SHP (Selective Hydrogenation Process) unit to remove butadiene and isomerize 1-butene. On the way to the Alky, the PP stream can be processed through the Catalytic Polymerization Unit. Isobutane makeup feed is either produced in the Butamer Unit or purchased from outside the Refinery.
Learn More about the Hydrofluoric acid Alkylation Unit (Alky) at Ponca City Refinery
February 11, 2017: Phillips 66 Pipeline Worker Still Missing As Fire Continues to Blaze in Paradis
The Advocate reported on February 11, 2017 that one worker is missing and another recuperating in a hospital burn unit as a Phillips 66 natural gas pipeline in St. Charles Parish was still ablaze almost a full day later. Officials and plant workers could do little Friday but seal off the section of pipe that caught fire and wait for the gas inside to burn off. Authorities warned it could be hours or days more before the flames were entirely extinguished, although the fire had shrunk considerably by early evening. Todd Denton, general manager of midstream operations for Phillips 66, the company that owns the pipeline, said Friday it was the most serious industrial accident of his career. “I can’t express strongly enough the concern I have and that the Phillips 66 family has for those impacted,” he said. The missing worker and those who were injured have yet to be identified by company officials. One worker received treatment at a nearby hospital and was released, while another was listed in fair condition after being airlifted to the regional burn unit at Baton Rouge General Hospital.
The fire began in a fenced-off, 800-square-foot area around which six workers — three employed by Phillips 66 and three by Blanchard Contractors — were trying to clean out a section of the pipeline, officials said. Oil and gas companies routinely send pieces of equipment called “pigs” down the line to clear debris from the inside of a pipe. To launch a pig, crews typically burn off the fuel in the pipe, then seal off the section so it can be depressurized. Then they load the pig, seal the pipe back up and open the valve, allowing the liquefied natural gas to push the equipment through. “We were receiving that pig,” Denton said. “We don’t know what happened after that.” Between depressurizing and pressurizing the pipeline and burning off gas, running the equipment can be dangerous, experts said, especially if all the gas doesn’t burn off or if there’s a leak in the line or some other problem.
Environmental groups seized on the fire as an example of the dangers posed by pipelines carrying fossil fuels. Those groups hope to halt the construction of another line, the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, in which Phillips 66 is a partner. Conservationists are planning to rally outside the state Department of Environmental Quality at 10:30 a.m. Monday to keep up the opposition. “As the Phillips 66 pipeline fire continues to burn, can we really trust their assurances that another pipeline would be safe?” Cyn Sarthou, executive director of the Gulf Restoration Network, asked in a statement. “Clearly, if the Bayou Bridge pipeline is built, it will place our communities and our workers at risk.” Regulators argued that the comparison doesn’t hold water. The Venice-Paradis line that caught fire Thursday transports liquid natural gas, while Bayou Bridge would carry crude oil. "In terms of the regulatory community, (the fire) doesn't have any bearing on” the Bayou Bridge debate, said DEQ spokesman Greg Langley.
February 11, 2017: Acid Leak at Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery Injures Seven Workers
Reuters reported on February 11, 2017 that seven contract workers were taken to St. Joseph hospital after a toxic hydrofluoric acid leak at Phillips 66's Ferndale Refinery. The leak was from the refinery's alkylation unit, the Bellingham Herald said, citing a company statement. Alkylation units use hydrofluoric acid to convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components of gasoline. The gas leak occurred about 5 p.m. in the refinery at 3901 Unick Road. “Our internal response team immediately activated the emergency response plan and the leak was contained within the property,” Phillips 66 stated. “There was no threat to the public, to anybody in the area,” said Assistant Chief Larry Hoffman of Whatcom County Fire District 7, which serves the Ferndale area. Other workers “sheltered in place as a precaution,” Phillips 66 said. There also was a report of a precautionary evacuation. A horn was blown at 6:13 p.m., signaling the all-clear for people to resume normal work activity.
February 10, 2017: Sixty Homes Evacuated, Two Workers Taken to Hospital, One Worker Missing in Phillips 66 Pipeline Fire in Paradis Louisiana
Reuters reported on February 10, 2017 that sixty homes in Paradis, Louisiana were evacuated, two workers were taken to a local hospital, and another is unaccounted for after an explosion and fire at a Phillips 66 pipeline station. Two of the workers were hospitalized — one taken to a burn center— and three had minor or no injuries, the sheriff said. The remaining worker was unaccounted for, and a helicopter was being brought in to help search for him. Workers are now attempting to shut a high pressure line, a spokesman for the parish said. "It's a very high pressure, high intensity fire," Champagne said. "When you get close to it, it is really singeing." The source of the product in the pipeline has been shut off, but the fire could burn for hours or at least a day, Champagne said. "It is a loud and scary fire, but it is burning off." "Phillips 66 is in the process of accounting for all employees and contractors who were working at the site at the time," the spokesman said.
Champagne said the source of the 20-inch pipeline had been shut off but the fire would have to burn off the rest of the liquid inside, which could take hours or even days. “They tell us the best thing that can happen right now is for the product to burn off,” he said. The pipeline was carrying a highly volatile byproduct of natural gas, which was burning cleanly and very hotly over a 30- to 40-foot area, the sheriff said. “It’s just a big blow torch,” he said.
February 9. 2017: Environmental Lawsuit Against Phillips 66 Borger Refinery Benefits Students
News Channel 10 reported on February 9, 2017 that after Phillips 66 Borger refinery failed to meet environmental requirements, they were fined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and proceeds from the lawsuit are benefiting students in the Borger School District. Any time environmental lawsuits like this are settled, a portion of the financial penalty is paid to a Supplemental Environmental Project. Phillips 66 was penalized $13,688 for failing to meet environmental air standards. Approximately 40 percent of the penalty was paid to a SEP which, in this case, is Borger Independent School District (ISD). These funds will help pay for new school buses with reduced fuel emissions. "We have an older fleet of buses, so it's nice to add a newer bus to our fleet, especially if it has better emissions," said Rebecca Calder the communication coordinator for Borger ISD.
January 30, 2017: Phillips 66 Plans To Remediate Former Oil Refinery near Duncan, Oklahoma
SWOK News reported on January 30, 2017 that Phililps 66 plans to remediate 446 acres near Duncan, Oklahoma where a refinery was formerly located south of Duncan on Refinery Road and old U.S. 81. The property was in use as a refinery from the 1920s to 1983 and had several different owners during that time period. Stephens County purchased the property in 2003. Phillips 66 signed the agreement for the remediation process in 2003, according to Jeremy Anthon, who made a Power Point presentation for Phillips 66 to Stephens County Commissioners.
One concern on the property is for Claridy Creek, which runs along the east side of the property, as well as two or three portions of the parcel that were used as landfills and impoundments, according to the Anthon. Due to the size of the property, there will be some areas where dig and haul will be implemented.
January 17, 2017: Environmental Groups Gear Up for Second Hearing Against Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
The Advocate reported on January 17, 2017 that Louisiana environmental groups are gearing up for round two in a battle against the proposed 163-mile Bayou Bridge Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, that they say they fear will foul the state's wetlands and water. A public hearing last week in Baton Rouge for a required U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit drew more than 400 people, but activists expect a bigger turnout on February 8, 2017, said Anne Rolfes, "because people are fired up." "... This opposition is really unprecedented."
The subject of next month's hearing is the state Department of Natural Resources permit needed for portions of the pipeline that would pass through state-designated Coastal Zones in St. James and Assumption parishes, said DNR Communications Director Patrick Courreges. DNR began reviewing the permit early last year and initially closed the public comment period in May, but Courreges said the agency decided to hold a public hearing based on the increasing amount of attention the project has received in recent months. "When this project was originally being looked at, there wasn't that much interest," he said. Rolfes said the pipeline company can expect continued protests to block the project, even if it receives the required approvals from regulators who she accused of generally doing "big oil's bidding." "They will not lay this pipeline," she vowed.
January 17, 2017: Builders of Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline File Motion to Bar Environmental Study by US Corps of Engineers
Yahoo News reported on January 17, 2017 that Energy Transfer Partners, builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline funded in part by Phillips 66, has filed a motion to bar the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from initiating an environmental study for its controversial Dakota Access pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe in North Dakota. ETP has requested that a U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia stop the Corps from initiating the environmental impact statement process until a ruling has been made on whether the company already has necessary approvals for the pipeline crossing. The Corps said it would publish a notice in the Federal Register on Wednesday stating its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement for the requested easement at Lake Oahe. The notice will invite interested parties to comment on potential issues and concerns, as well as alternatives to the proposed route, which should be considered in the study.
January 15, 2017: 400 Come Out to Protest Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
The Guardian reported on January 15, 2017 that Scott Eustis, a coastal wetland specialist with the Gulf Restoration Network, was surprised to be joined by more than 400 others when he attended a public hearing in Baton Rouge about the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a pipeline extension partially funded by Phillips 66 that would run directly through the Atchafalaya Basin, the world’s largest natural swamp. “This is like 50 times the amount of people we have at most of these meetings,” said Eustis, adding that the proposed pipeline was “the biggest and baddest I’ve seen in my career”. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline, if approved, would carry 480,000 barrels of oil per day a final 162 miles across the state to refineries and ports, through eight watersheds and long stretches of fragile wetlands.
At the public hearing in Baton Rouge on Thursday, the first speaker, Cory Farber, project manager of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, said it was expected to create 2,500 temporary jobs. When Farber then said the project would produce 12 permanent jobs, the crowd laughed heartily. “Those who have airboat companies and equipment companies that specialize in putting in equipment, they’re not opposed to pipelines because of the short-term jobs,” said Jody Meche, president of the state Crawfish Producers’ Association, one of dozens who spoke at the hearing. “But once that pipe is in there, the jobs are gone.”
Debate was fierce. Pro-pipeline speakers – oil industry reps, state representatives, a retired Louisiana State University professor – pointed out that many pipelines already run through the Atchafalaya Basin and said pipelines were in general the safest way to transport oil – in the case of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, 280,000 barrels per day of crude to the Gulf coast region, with the potential for 480,000. Where most in attendance worried about potential oil spills and their effect on drinking water, Meche was more concerned with ways existing pipelines have, he said, “crippled” the fishing industry. “They excavated the trench that they put the pipe in and then [they didn’t clean up] and it leaves a dam behind that blocks the water flow,” he said on the microphone, “until there’s not enough oxygen in the water for the crawfish, the fish, or anything.”
Native Americans dotted the crowd, many of them fresh from Standing Rock. “The Native Americans in North Dakota get a lot of credit for showing people their power,” Eustis said. Lifelong Iberia Parish resident Andrea Kilchrist, 71, described the violence she had witnessed at Standing Rock: peaceful protesters battered with sonic grenades, tear gas, mace, and cannons. “If you think this company is not going to do the same thing here — it’s going to do the same thing here,” she warned the room. “I hate pain. I’m afraid of pain and broken bones,” she continued, her voice shaking. “But on that first day, if y’all give that permit, I will be sitting in front of a bulldozer.”
As activists see it, Louisiana residents are starting to really care about environmental issues and, more importantly, to make themselves heard. “A lot of times we don’t get this opportunity to speak up,” said Eustis, still admiring the surprisingly large crowd. “[These oil companies] want to just roll over us. “But after Katrina, and the BP spill, and the Baton Rouge flood last year – 100,000 people displaced from their homes because of climate change – I guess we’re finally just sick of this.”
January 13, 2017: Details Emerge in Deal to End Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit by State of Oklahoma Against Phillips 66 for Alleged "Double-Dipping" into a Petroleum Storage Tank Cleanup Fund
NewsOK reported on January 13, 2017 that the state of Oklahoma received $2.8 million and an outside law firm working on contingency for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt received $942,000 from a little-publicized settlement with Philips 66 over alleged "double-dipping" into a petroleum storage tank cleanup fund. Pruitt's lawsuit alleged Phillips 66 had collected money from the indemnity fund even after it used private insurance proceeds for the environmental remediation. Pruitt, who typically issues news releases touting legal victories, didn't publicize the settlement award or issue a news release. The only public mention of it came in meeting minutes at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The settlement agreement doesn't specify how much of the award went to the outside law firm, only that "the Oklahoma attorney general shall be responsible for paying any attorney fees." The Phillips 66 case and others like it have been touted by Pruitt supporters as an example of the attorney general being willing to go after energy companies. Related lawsuits against BP and Chevron over indemnity fund payments were filed by his predecessor in late 2010.
Phillips 66 previously paid $2 million in 2014 to settle allegations it helped itself to Utah’s Petroleum Storage Tank Fund for cleaning up damage from leaking fuel storage tanks even though it had insurance to cover the cleanups. Phillips was said to have relied on the fund for cleanups at 82 service stations. Consistently, these guys were saying, ‘No, we don’t have any insurance,” said Therron Blatter, a branch manager for underground storage tanks at the Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation. “Clearly, they did have the insurance.”
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune Phillips 66 was accused of defrauding the Utah’s Petroleum Storage Tank Fund to the tune of $25 million for cleanups associated with leaking underground tanks. In its lawsuit filed in 2012, the division alleged ConocoPhillips collected $25 million in payouts to cover cleanups at 82 service stations by falsely reporting that these sites were not covered by independent insurance. The suit sought to recover this money, plus punitive damages and fines totalling $10,000 for every day ConocoPhillips violated the law. But as lawyers gathered evidence it became apparent some of the claims were not that strong, said Brent Everett, director of the state Division of Environmental Response and Remediation. Officials said they are satisfied with the $2 million settlement, which amounts to less than 10 percent of what they originally claimed was misappropriated.
January 12, 2017: Showdown Looms Over Phillips 66 Funded Bayou Bridge Pipeline
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report reported on January 12, 2017 that the $750 million Bayou Bridge Pipeline project being jointly pursued by subsidiaries of Phillips 66, Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners, will face off against environmentalists at a public hearing on January 12, 2017 over the proposed 162-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline, which, if approved, will run from Lake Charles through the Atchafalaya Basin to St. James Parish. Advocates of the project are expected to argue that pipelines are the safest, most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to transport oil, noting also that the proposed pipeline will join an existing network of pipelines crisscrossing the state. “This is not the first pipeline that will run through the Atchafalaya,” says Tommy Foltz, executive vice president of the Consumer Energy Alliance.
But environmentalists are expected to take issue with the claim that pipelines are safe. Anne Rolfes with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, who will be among those attending tonight’s hearing, notes that Louisiana had 144 pipeline accidents in 2016. “Our pipelines are falling apart,” Rolfes says. “They are leaking. They have holes in them. They are rusty and corroded. Our state should be forcing industry to repair the current pipelines rather than permit a new one.” The state should also be exploring alternative fuel sources like solar and wind energy, which represent the economic development opportunities of the future, Rolfes says. “One of the fastest growing sectors of job growth is in renewable energy and we’re dealing with these guys who are stuck thinking about fossil fuels,” she says.
January 12, 2017: Six Environmental Groups Join Against Phillips 66 Lawsuit Regarding Santa Maria Rail Project
Edhat Santa Barbara reported on January 12, 2017 that six environmental groups were granted permission to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Phillips 66, challenging the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission's denial of the company's proposal to construct a crude oil train terminal for the Santa Maria Refinery. Phillips 66's lawsuit challenges the Planning Commission's determination that the site for the proposed oil train terminal contains rare and valuable habitat that is protected under the California Coastal Act and the County's local policies and ordinances. In granting the motion to intervene, the court ruled that the groups have an interest in protecting the environment as well as an interest in participating in further hearings on the project. The court allowed the environmental groups to join the lawsuit so that they could "continue to participate in and protect the environmental review process" as it relates to the Phillips project and the determination that the project would impact environmentally sensitive habitat. Now that the environmental groups are parties to the lawsuit, they plan to file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case as premature. The hearing on that motion is scheduled for February 16, 2017.
December 29, 2016: Seven Rail Cars Overturn at Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery
The Belleville News-Democrat reported on December 29, 2016 that seven cars overturned at the Wood River Refinery in Roxana on Thursday morning, spilling about one gallon of acid that was quickly contained, according to officials. “We are monitoring the area, and there are no injuries or impacts to the community. Refinery operations are not impacted,” read a statement from Wood River Refinery. Norfolk Southern spokesman Dave Pigeon said the material that leaked was a waste product from the refining process known as spent sulfuric acid. It can eventually be recycled and reused, he said, but is transported as hazardous materials. There were seven cars derailed in the incident, Pigeon said, with five cars that came to rest on their sides while two remained upright. As of 3:30 p.m., Norfolk Southern workers had uprighted three of those five cars.
December 19, 2016: Vallejo Mayor Wants Phillips 66 and Other Refiners to Pay for Air Monitoring Equipment
KQED reported on December 19, 2016 that incoming mayor of Vallejo is calling on Phillips 66, Valero, Shell, and Tesoro to foot the bill for new air monitors for five Bay Area cities that sit near local refineries after a mysterious odor sickened dozens of Vallejo residents around the same time an oil spill was discovered in San Pablo Bay in September. The U.S. Coast Guard’s investigation into the oil spill concluded that the spill came from either the marine terminal for Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery or an oil tanker that was unloading crude there. “I think as a good neighbor, Conoco Phillips 66 should be concerned about providing air quality monitors to the surrounding communities,” said Mayor-elect Bob Sampayan. “I want to see a more expanded role with the oil companies in providing information should we have this kind of incident occur again.” A spokesman for Phillips 66 did not respond to a request for comment, and a representative for the Western State Petroleum Association said the industry group has no comment.
November 3, 2016: Fluor Contractor Died in May, 2016 During Chevron Phillips Petrochemical Expansion in Baytown
Fuelfix reported on November 3, 2016 that Fluor, which is building Chevron Phillips’ “U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project” in a joint venture with Japan-based JGC, said it recorded a $154 million impairment charge for the project in the third quarter. “We are very disappointed in the construction progress on a fixed-price Gulf Coast project that led to a significant charge this quarter,” said David Seaton, Fluor chairman and CEO. Seaton confirmed Fluor will take a net loss on the entirety of the project. He cited weather delays, which were caused by Houston-area flooding in the spring, as well as problems with “piping performance” during the construction process. There was also one fatality in May when a Fluor contractor died after an on-site accident. Last month, Chevron Phillips acknowledged some minor delays caused by weather and additional retraining needed for some craft workers.
October 31, 2016: Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery Settles Wastewater Pollution Case
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on October 31, 2016 that Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips and WRB Refining — the past and present operators of the Wood River Refinery have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $125,000 and install new wastewater control systems at the refinery after alleged releases of wastewater contaminants that exceeded the facility’s permitted levels. Pollutants that exceeded allowable levels for the facility included mercury, fecal coliform, ammonia and other byproducts. Courts records show the exceedances were documented in monthly reports submitted by the refinery to the Illinois EPA from 2011 to 2016. Phillips 66 issued a statement saying the settlement “acknowledges the improvements the refinery has already made to improve the refinery’s wastewater treatment performance, as well as outlines additional investments the refinery is committed to implement.”
October 22, 2016: Eighty Arrested at Protest Against Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
UPI reported on October 22, 2016 that police in North Dakota arrested 83 protesters after violent clashes at the construction site of the Dakota Access pipeline. The protest happened in rural Mandan, N.D., where workers are installing the 1,172-mile oil pipeline that will run from the oil fields in North Dakota south as far as Illinois. A group of protesters walked some three miles off the nearest road with a large all-terrain vehicle, slashed its tires and fastened themselves to the machine, according to the Bismarck Tribune. One individual chained herself to the steering wheel. Another man put his arm through a hole in the vehicle's door, than put his hand in a bucket of dried cement.
When police arrived on scene, a group of 300 or so protesters, Native Americans who view the construction as a violation of their sovereignty along with environmentalists, refused to leave. Police formed a line near the protesters and some tried to breach the line; officers responded with the use of pepper spray. Two officers were injured, though not seriously, in the confrontation. Police said they used the least amount of force possible to remove the protesters from private property. "We want to use the most nonlethal method possible," Morton County Sheriff's Department Rob Keller told the Bismarck Tribune. It took police about five hours to clear the scene of protesters so work in the area could resume. WDAZ-TV reported protesters were mostly charge with a combination of assault on a peace officer, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, engaging in a riot, resisting arrest and fleeing an officer on foot.
Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.
October 20, 2016: Phillips 66 Appeals Santa Maria Rail Project to San Luis Obispo County Supervisors
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on October 20, 2016 that Phillips 66. has appealed San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission’s rejection of its oil-by-rail plan to the county Board of Supervisors, setting the stage for lengthy and passionate hearings over a project that has drawn statewide attention. Phillips 66, in its appeal filed Wednesday afternoon, also is asking county supervisors to set aside the issue while it seeks an order from San Luis Obispo Superior Court that would direct the county planning department to correct what Phillips 66 says are misapplications of county land-use rules. The petition, filed Wednesday in Superior Court, also asks the court to direct the Planning Commission to set aside its findings for denial and reconsider Phillips 66’s application. A case management conference is set for Dec. 5. The Planning Commission voted 3-2 on Oct. 5 to reject the project, with Commissioners Don Campbell and Jim Harrison dissenting. Commissioner Jim Irving joined Commissioners Eric Meyer and Ken Topping on Wednesday to deny the plan.
In the meantime, environmental groups are gearing up for another fight. One such group, 350 Silicon Valley, is part of a statewide coalition of climate organizations focused on stopping the Phillips 66 project and plans to give county supervisors numerous reasons to reject the proposal, said Stew Plock, development manager for the group.
October 20, 2016: Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal
The East Bay Times reported on October 20, 2016 that the mysterious oil sheens that appeared on San Pablo Bay on September 20, 2016 were connected to a crude oil tanker or the Phillips 66 refinery, the U.S. Coast Guard announced. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Authorities were unable to determine if the sheen found in the bay originated from the Yumuna Spirit of the Phillips 66 facility. The U.S. Coast Guard said the vessel and the facility are responsible for recovering federal related response costs. The Coast Guard could not determine what caused the odor that sent dozens of people to hospitals in Vallejo with complaints of headaches, nausea and dizziness on September 20, 2016.
KQED reported on October 18, 2016 that officials have revealed a clue that could help determine what caused the oil spill in San Pablo Bay a month ago and a sickening odor that sent dozens of people to the hospital in Vallejo around the same time. Results of tests taken of the substance found in the water in late September show that it was crude oil from the Middle East, according to an official with California’s lead agency for responding to oil spills. Randy Sawyer, chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa County Health Services, says the crude must have come from an oil tanker at a marine terminal in Rodeo. “Based on the analysis and where the sheen was located, the oil sheen originated from the ship while it was unloading to Phillips 66,” Sawyer said. I’s unclear how the oil might have leaked from the vessel. “I know that Phillips did check their piping and there were no leaks,” Sawyer said. “There may have been a portion of the piping (that was) not tested.”
Phillips 66 declined to comment on the investigation and activity of the Yamuna Spirit at its marine terminal. “Phillips 66 generally does not comment on activity as it relates to our crude supply and transportation arrangements,” said Aimee Lohr, a refinery spokeswoman.
When the investigation is concluded, local environmentalists say whoever is responsible should be held accountable. “The perpetrators need to face stiff penalties for this absolutely unacceptable oil spill,” said Patrick Sullivan, an Oakland-based spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity. “But even the steepest fines won’t undo the damage this oil has done to the bay,” Sullivan said. “That’s why we’ve got to move away from shipping dirty crude through California’s fragile coastal ecosystems.”
- See also Health Official Says Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Needs to Notify Local Agencies Faster Next Time it Learns of an Oil Spill Near its Facility September 28, 2016
- See also Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Is Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill September 16, 2016
October 5, 2016: San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission Votes to Deny Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur Project
KCBX reported on October 5, 2016 that the proposal by Phillips 66 to increase the number of trains bringing crude oil to its Santa Maria refinery will not move forward with a recommendation by the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission with three out of five Commissioners voting to deny the request to build a rail spur at the facility. Mesa Refinery Watch Group Spokesperson Laurance Shinderman said that the issue is now likely headed to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, but believes the recent vote helps set a tone for future debate. "When you have the planning staff saying no to it, and now the planning commissioners saying not to it...the sentiment seems to be leaning our way," said Shinderman.
Phillips 66 Spokesperson Dennis Nuss sent a statement to KCBX via email: "We presented a strong proposal, and will review the concerns raised today and consider our options, including the right to appeal."
September 28, 2016: Health Official Says Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Needs to Notify Local Agencies Faster Next Time it Learns of an Oil Spill Near its Facility
KQED News reported on September 28, 2016 that a top Bay Area health official said Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery needs to notify local agencies faster next time it learns of an oil spill near its facility. Randy Sawyer, Contra Costa County’s chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer, said Phillips 66 took 10 hours to tell his agency about the spill, a delay that could have impacted the investigation. “Hours later the sheen was gone and there was no evidence of it at that location,” Sawyer said. “So we lost some valuable time in trying to determine where the oil came from.” Phillips 66 has not responded to requests for comment on its delay in contacting the county.
The refinery told the California State Warning Center shortly before 9 a.m., according to Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The company told Contra Costa’s hazardous materials program at 11 a.m., Sawyer said. The lack of answers frustrates at least one Vallejo city official. Councilwoman Katy Miessner said the possibility that an oil spill may have sickened some of the city’s residents is cause for concern. “I think this is something we’re going to have to address,” Miessner said. “Personally, I had no idea that we were vulnerable to the refineries across the bay.”
The Times Herald reported on September 27, 2016 that the City of Vallejo has released an official statement about the pungent and mysterious odor that hung heavy in Vallejo last week. Residents reported an “unknown odor” primarily centered in South Vallejo that smelled of gasoline or natural gas. After dozens of patients began arriving at local hospitals in connection with breathing problems after inhaling the odor, the city issued a shelter-in-place order and advised residents to avoid being outside if possible. After the smell was noticed, a one-mile-by-40-foot sheen in the waterways was discovered near the the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Marine Terminal. The odor in Vallejo gradually dissipated throughout the night. Though the shelter-in-place warning in Vallejo was lifted at 6 a.m. Wednesday, some residents took to social media to report still being able to detect something in the air. As the second day progressed, an additional sheen was eventually detected in the surrounding waters and city officials were informed about a leak that was found across the waterway at the Phillips 66 refinery.
“To date, no entity has shared any information with city officials about a possible cause of the unknown odor,” according to the city’s statement. One Vallejo resident, Liz Harkness, is not satisfied with the city’s answers about the incident and has started a petition to the “decision makers” of Vallejo and Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo to release more definitive answers. “Is the air truly safe?” Harkness wrote in the petition. “People are still feeling ill today! Just what is the sheen made of? Is it effecting wildlife, the bay and rivers? How much is moving upstream with the tides? Are the wetlands in danger? Especially those along Highway 37 that were just restored. Too many questions. No answers in this age of science? I feel we’re being left out. They know more than they let on, and a lot of us in the city know it.”
- See also Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Is Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill September 16, 2016
September 23, 2016: Future Operator of Phillips Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Tops U.S. Crude Spill Charts
Reuters reported on September 23, 2016 that Sunoco Logistics, the future operator of Dakota Access Pipeline, partially owned by Phillips 66 and delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data. Reuters analyzed data that companies are obliged to disclose to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when they suffer spills and found that Sunoco leaked crude from onshore pipelines at least 203 times over the last six years. PHMSA data became more detailed in 2010. In its examination, Reuters tallied leaks in the past six years along dedicated onshore crude oil lines and excluded systems that carry natural gas and refined products. The Sunoco data include two of its pipeline units, the West Texas Gulf and Mid-Valley Pipeline. That made it the operator with the highest number of crude leak incidents, ahead of at least 190 recorded by Enterprise Products Partners and 167 by Plains All American Pipeline, according to the spill data reported to PHMSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Sunoco's spill rate shows protestors may have reason to be concerned about potential leaks. The main option that was considered for routing the line away from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation was previously discarded because it would involve crossing more water-sensitive areas north of the capital Bismarck, according to the project's environmental assessment.
The company has made previous efforts to improve safety, a former Sunoco employee who declined to be identified said. It overhauled safety culture after a spill in 2000, and did so again another in 2005 that dumped some 6,000 barrels of crude into the Kentucky River from its Mid-Valley Pipeline. Sunoco acknowledged the data and told Reuters it had taken measures to reduce its spill rate. "Since the current leadership team took over in 2012, Sunoco Pipeline has enhanced and improved our integrity management program," Sunoco spokesman Jeffrey Shields told Reuters by email. This significantly cut the amount of barrels lost during incidents, he said.
Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B Dakota Access Pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.
September 21, 2016: Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill
KQED reported on September 21, 2016 that the U.S. Coast Guard and state officials are investigating an oil spill in San Pablo Bay that may have produced an odor that sickened dozens of Vallejo residents Tuesday night. It’s possible the Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo could be connected to the incident. Vallejo city officials issued a shelter-in-place order after hundreds of residents complained of a gas-like odor, which sent dozens to the hospital. “We had over 800 calls to our dispatch center of complaints of the smell, questions about what the smell is,” Vallejo Fire Department spokesman Kevin Brown said. “Several dozen of them were medical complaints, so we took several dozen patients into local hospitals.” The U.S. Coast Guard, the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are investigating.
KQED Science Editor Craig Miller, who lives in Vallejo, described the odor as it first began wafting through the area. “The air up here first starting turning acrid around 7:00 or 7:30 last evening and gradually became more intense. I would describe the smell as some kind of heavy petroleum distill,” Miller said. “It’s similar to the smell you would get driving by an oil tank farm except much, much more intense to the point where the city finally issued a shelter in place alert around 8:30.”
A light oily sheen was discovered shortly after 8 a.m. today at the Phillips 66 Refinery Marine Terminal in Rodeo, company spokesman Paul Adler wrote in an email to KQED. "At the time, a tanker was berthed at the marine terminal," wrote Adler. "Our internal response team immediately responded to the incident and we notified the National Response Center (NRC) and the United States Coast Guard. Operations at the marine terminal have been temporarily shut down and we are working closely with the Coast Guard and other agencies regarding the response." The email indicates the exact amount of oil released is not known, and the cause of the incident is under investigation."
September 7, 2016: Couple Blames Phillips 66 for Husband's Injuries at Wood River Refinery
The Madison Record reported on September 7, 2016 that Joe Hemmer and Nicole Hemmer filed a lawsuit Aug. 25 in Madison County Circuit Court against Phillips 66 Company alleging negligence in not protecting workers in its Wood River refinery. According to the complaint, on Aug. 26, 2014, Joe Hemmer was working at defendant's facility as an iron worker under the employment of Federal Steel & Erection Company when he collapsed near the defendant's exhchanger, suffering severe brain damage due to excessive heat. The plaintiffs allege Phillips 66 failed to inspect for the dangerous conditions in its working area, negligently allowed the dangerous condition to exist and negligently allowed toxic chemicals to be present in plaintiff's working area. and are seeking judgment of more than $50,000, plus court costs.
August 29, 2016: Phillips 66 Senior Vice President for Health, Safety and Environment to Retire
Houston Business Journal reported on August 29, 2016 that Debbie Adams, Senior Vice President for Health, Safety and Environment, will retire Aug. 31 after 33 years at Phillips 66. “Debbie has had a tremendous impact on our organization throughout her entire career, and has been a great partner to me and the executive leadership team,” said Chairman and CEO Greg Garland. “Under her leadership, Phillips 66 has established itself as a safety leader, achieving first-quartile performance the past two years for both combined total recordable rate and lost workday case rate.” Adams will be succeeded by Jay Churchill who got his start at Conoco in 1979 as a plant process engineer at the Lake Charles Refinery in Louisiana.
August 27, 2016: Court Battle Brews over Phillips Funded Sacagawea Pipeline Under Lake Sakakawea
The West Fargo Pioneer reported on August 27, 2016 that the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation asserts that Sacagawea Pipeline Company, a joint venture owned 50 percent by Phillips 66 Partners, was required but failed to get the tribe's permission to begin pipeline construction under under Lake Sakakawea. The Tribal Business Council voted August 3, 2016 to issue a cease and desist order to halt all construction under Lake Sakakawea. Lake Sakakawea is the drinking water source for several western North Dakota cities, including communities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. "Paradigm was informed on several different occasions that the consent of the MHA Nation would not be granted unless there were adequate assurances that an oil pipeline under the lake posed no threat to the MHA Nation's water resources," Tribal Chairman Mark Fox wrote in an Aug. 8 letter. "To date, that assurance has not been provided to the MHA Nation's satisfaction." Paradigm filed a federal lawsuit on Aug. 19 against Fox and Tribal Police Chief Nelson Hart arguing they have no authority to halt construction. The company is constructing two 70-mile companion oil and natural gas pipelines that will travel from McKenzie to Mountrail counties.
The Sacagawea Pipeline is also under investigation by federal pipeline regulators after former contractors said the pipeline was installed under the lake without being properly inspected. The owner of Boyd & Co. told Forum News Service the pipeline was properly inspected and he says the claims are false accusations made by workers who were fired. About 8,980 feet of the pipeline system will pass under Lake Sakakawea via the installation of about 10,980 feet of welded steel pipeline, the Corps of Engineers said in its environmental assessment. The pipeline will be installed at least 100 feet below the lakebed through horizontal directional drilling with emergency shut-off valves on either side of the lake and around-the-clock pipeline monitoring to detect leaks.
August 27, 2016: Plaquemines Parish Tries to Close Levee Breach Near Phillips 66's Alliance Refinery
WWL Tv reported on August 27, 2016 that Plaquemines Parish Emergency Management Officials are on high alert after a breach along the bayou side levee near the Phillips 66's Alliance Refinery raised the alarm for parish leaders. The breach was discovered where a pipeline crosses the levee. Within six hours the breach had reached 20 feet wide, prompting swift response. Plaquemines Parish crews immediately reacted. Generators were on site providing light and started to work getting 2000 pound sandbags into the breach. Low lying areas along Louisiana Highway 23 in Plaquemines parish are at risk for flooding during hurricane season. Earthen levees on either side protect homeowners and industry there. “It is a grave concern of ours, and we are monitoring it every day with the resources that we have,” says Council Chair Kirk Lepine. Emergency management says the breach does not pose a flooding threat to homes or Highway 23 right now. The water is coming in from the Barataria Bay side and moving back into the drainage canal, and then moving back to Barataria Bay.
Lepine says a hurricane could change that and wonders if aging infrastructure can weather a bigger storm. Lepine says he hopes that the levee is inspected every week, but he was not sure. Lepine says with budget cutbacks, levee monitoring is now split between departments. It's something that needs to be addressed. “Before it was inspected every week. And if there were deficiencies in the levee we were notified. We tried to stay on top of it as much as we can."
NOLA reported on August 29, 2016 that two days after water began pouring through a levee in Plaquemines Parish, local officials working with the Louisiana National Guard successfully plugged the breach with sandbags Sunday night (Aug. 28), authorities said. The breach had widened from 20 feet to more than 70 feet, but it never threatened local residences or Louisiana 23, said Plaquemines government admininstration spokesman Michael Powell.
August 27, 2016: Worker Killed in Accident on Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
The Associated Press reported on August 27, 2016 that a man working on the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, was killed in an apparent accident in western North Dakota, said North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk. Kalk said the man was on a tractor Thursday, covering the underground pipeline with soil and grass seed. Kalk said the company reported Friday that the man suffered a serious head injury, apparently while working on equipment. He was taken to a Minot hospital, where he died. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.
August 24, 2016: Native Americans Wait on Court Decision on Controversial Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
PBS reported on August 24, 2016 that at least 300 people opposed to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, funded in part by Phillips 66, waited anxiously outside a D.C. federal courthouse this afternoon for a decision on whether or not the project can to continue. And now they’ll have to wait just a little longer. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers on July 27 to stop the pipeline that would cross under the Missouri River, the reservation’s sole source of water. The corps approved the pipeline last month, but the tribe argues they were not properly consulted, and that cultural and historical sites would be destroyed during construction. Judge James E. Boasberg from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said he will make a decision about the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline on or before September 9. “We’re very concerned because construction is ongoing,” said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer with EarthJustice, an environmental advocacy organization representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “In another couple of weeks or a month there won’t be anything left to protect.” The tribe, whose land is located a half-mile south of the pipeline, has resisted the project for months. People started gathering near the construction site in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in April to stage demonstrations. In recent weeks, hundreds more arrived, and some sparked confrontations with police and construction workers. At least 28 people people were arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing this month. The pipeline company says it halted work after some demonstrators attacked workers with rocks and bottles. With the legal ruling delayed until next month, it is uncertain what will happen at the site and to the several hundred protesters camped nearby. “We have to play by the rules the federal government has given us,” David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told PBS NewsHour. “We’re still going to pray and be in peace and ensure our strength in unity is powerful.”
August 24, 2016: Iowa Farmers Complain that Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline Wrecks Their Soil
The Des Moines Register reported on August 24, 2016 that some Iowa farmers want builders of the 1,154-mile Dakota Access pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, to put their soil back the way they found it. Francis Goebel now has a scar running across his soybean fields where the dark, fertile topsoil is being stacked on top of several feet of hard clay mixed with clay loam and fear his soil will less suited for growing crops — and much less valuable. "Nature separated those soils for a reason, that's the way I feel," said Goebel, who runs a 164-acre century farm in Sioux County. "If nature put it there, they should put it back the way it was." Although Dakota Access is separating the rich topsoil from the soil beneath, it isn't being as careful with the next two layers, mixing the clay loam subsoil with the hard clay underneath. Goebel acknowledges he was well compensated by Dakota Access for the 12-acre easement the company obtained to cross his land. He received $21,000 per acre for the easement, plus payments for initial crop losses. But he's worried about his future corn and soybean yields. In some places, crews excavated 20 feet deep, meaning the hard clay at the bottom could end up just a couple feet from the ground. "To me, it's a scar."
Tom Konz acknowledges that it is too late for his and his neighbor's land — contractors buried the pipe last week. But he wants other Iowa landowners in the pipeline's path to remain vigilant about their soil as crews begin tearing into the ground. Konz received about $102,000 from Dakota Access, a figure that included payments for the easement, plus three years' worth of crop damage. But he said that's nothing compared with the ongoing costs of anticipated crop losses. "The rest of my life, I guarantee you will see that pipeline forever," Konz said. "It will come up as red (on a yield map). We'll fight it every year for yield loss."
But Dakota Access attorney Bret Dublinski noted that all the contested farms already had tile buried under crops to help drain fields. It is often removed, repaired and replaced, he said. "You cannot consistently argue both that Dakota Access is going to irreparably harm my soil because it hasn’t been changed in 1,000 years and then also say 'I'm concerned about my pattern tile that I put in by turning up the soil,'" Dublinski said. "… Those are arguments that simply cannot exist in the same space."
August 24, 2016: Phillips 66 Shuts Gasoline-Producing Unit at Lake Charles Refinery
Reuters reported on August 24, 2016 that Phillips 66 shut a gasoline-making reformer unit at Lake Charles Refinery earlier this month, and advanced planned work on the unit, said two sources familiar with the work. The unit is slated to return to return to service in mid-September.
August 23, 2016: Hundreds of Native Americans Continue Months-Long Protest Against Phillips 66 Funded Dakota Access Pipeline
Nasdaq reported on August 23, 2016 that construction will remain halted on the 1,154-mile Dakota Access pipeline, owned in part by Phillips 66, as a federal judge postponed a hearing to determine whether protesters should be prevented from accessing the site near the Missouri River. Tensions between the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which opposes the pipeline, and local police have escalated in recent weeks. More than two dozen protesters have been arrested after they blocked entry to the site 34 miles south of Mandan, N.D. The pipeline's developer, Dakota Access LLP, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block protesters from the site. Phillips 66 owns a 25% stake in the $3.7B pipeline that is being built by Energy Transfer Partners.
A coalition of Native American groups that oppose the pipeline sent out an appeal to human rights groups to come to the North Dakota site, calling the situation a crisis. The Standing Rock Sioux argue that the pipeline threatens sacred sites and poses a risk to the tribe's drinking-water supply, since they say the pipeline would cross the Missouri River just upstream from the reservation. "We are committed to peaceful defense of our water and our territory," the groups said.
According to Jack Healy writing in the NY Times, people have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles. Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The protesters sleep in tents and tepees, cook food in open-air kitchens and share stories and strategies around evening campfires. There is even a day care. At morning meetings, speakers warn parents to keep their children away from the Missouri River at sunset, and remind one another they are camped out in prayer. For many, the effort was about reclaiming a stake in ancestral lands that had been whittled down since the 1800s, treaty by broken treaty. “Lands were constantly getting reduced, shaken up,” said Dave Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux. “I could give you a list of every wrongdoing this government did to our people. All of that is frustration pent up, and it’s being recognized.”
Energy Transfer Partners says it has the necessary state and federal permits and hopes to finish construction by the end of the year. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois. The United States Army Corps of Engineers says it consulted extensively with tribes, including the Standing Rock Sioux, and it says that tribe has failed to describe specific cultural sites that would be damaged by the pipeline. Builders say the pipeline will enable domestically produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners. According to Energy Transfer, the company holds their pipelines to a standard that exceeds state and federal regulations performing routine ground and aerial leak inspections about every 10 days, when federal rules only require these inspections every 14 days.
August 15, 2016: No Injuries in Fire at Phillips 66's Lake Charles Refinery
Reuters reported on August 15, 2016 that no injuries have been reported in a fire that started in a processing unit at Phillips 66's Lake Charles Refinery. The fire started when a heater tube failed as a hydrogen unit was being shut down at the plant, according to sources familiar with operations. A Phillips 66 representative did not immediately comment. As a safety precaution, both Phillips 66 employees and contract workers were evacuated from the area, but allowed to return within the hour.
Calcasieu Emergency Director Dick Gremillion arrived at the scene soon after it started. "They were bringing a unit down and a fire occurred," Gremillion said. "It was quickly extinguished. It did make a lot of black smoke. A lot of people were concerned about it but there is no offsite impact. The workers were brought - this is a normal safety routine that they do - workers were brought out so they could do an accountability on them, make sure they had everyone accounted for. And they completed that and they've all gone back into the plant now." Westlake Police Chief Chris Wilrye says at no time were nearby residents in danger. "Our concern is for our citizens of the community of Westlake and to make sure there was no impact to the community and there was no evacuation that needed to be taken place outside of Phillips 66 property," he said. "From speaking with the people here at Phillips 66 there's no danger to the community."
August 5, 2016: Former Worker Says Phillips Funded Sacagawea Pipeline at Risk for Oil Leak
The Dickinson Press reported on August 5, 2016 that a former crew member on Sacagawea Pipeline under construction in North Dakota claims that pipe installed under Lake Sakakawea was not properly inspected and he fears the lake could be at risk. The Sacagawea Pipeline Pipeline is being constructed by Sacagawea Pipeline Company, a joint venture owned 50 percent by Phillips 66 Partners. Federal pipeline regulators are investigating the allegations, which were also brought to the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s attention this week. The owner of the pipeline contracting company stands by the work and says the claims are false accusations made by workers who were fired. Pipeline contractor Kenny Crase writes in a sworn statement filed with the PSC and federal regulators that he was ordered to skip a final coating inspection on a section of the Sacagawea Pipeline before another contractor installed the pipe under Lake Sakakawea in July. External coating protects the steel pipe from corrosion. “To me, it’s an accident waiting to happen,” Crase said in an interview with Forum News Service.
Crase says he has 34 years of construction industry experience including working for five years in North Dakota as a pipeline inspector. On this job, he was in charge of operating a device known as a holiday detector, which finds defects or bare metal spots in the pipe coating. “The coating is on it to protect it from rusting from the outside in,” Crase said. Crase said the coating crew was not allowed to complete their work. In addition, the crew was told to stay in their trucks and not allowed to do a final inspection of the coating as another contractor installed the pipe under the lake, Crase said. “I cringed when they hooked to it and pulled it because we never made a single run through there when we didn’t find holidays, which is bare metal,” Crase said. “If I was a betting man, I’d bet there’s bare metal spots.”
Mike Boyd, owner and CEO of pipeline contractor Boyd & Co., disputes the claims. Boyd said there was a section of pipe that did not meet the standards, but those workers were fired and the coating work was redone “to perfection.” The work was also approved by inspectors working for Paradigm Energy Partners, which is part of Sacagawea Pipeline Co., Boyd said. “I have 100 percent confidence in the job that was done,” Boyd said. “It’s going under the lake, we have to do it right.”
August 3, 2016: Phillips 66 to Pay Nearly $800,000 over Pollution Violations at Rodeo Refinery
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on August 3, 2016 that Phillips 66 has agreed to pay $793,250 to settle air pollution violations at its Rodeo Refinery. The settlement covers 87 notices of violation issued to Phillips 66 for non-compliance at its refinery from 2010 through 2014. About one-third of the violations stemmed from an unplanned refinery shutdown in October of 2010, which included heavy smoke from flaring. In 2011, the company was written up three times for public nuisances after the refinery was found to be spewing odors. Finally, in June of 2012, a sour water tank ruptured at the refinery, sending numerous gases, including hydrogen sulfide, into neighboring communities, according to the air district. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District fined the Rodeo refinery $230,000 in 2014. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the refinery as the biggest releaser of toxic chemicals in the Bay Area.
“We are not anti-business or anti-refinery, but we want them to function properly, to put in place the equipment that needs to trap the gases that come out,” said Janet Pygeorge, president of Rodeo Citizens Association. “We breathe it. We live it every day. They need to think more about the public than the mighty old dollar.”
July 22, 2016: Phillips' Santa Maria Rail Spur Project May Be in Jeopardy
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on July 22, 2016 that Phillips 66 has been given an August 15 deadline to give the San Luis Obispo County department of planning and building additional information about the Santa Maria Rail Spur Project and to pay more than $240,000 in fees or the project application will be withdrawn. County policy requires that development applicants pay all the county’s costs in processing their permit, including the cost to hire consultants and write an environmental impact report. The county has estimated the cost of processing the application through the Board of Supervisors appeal hearing to be $240,697.73. In a July 8 letter to the company, county supervising planner Ryan Hostetter wrote, “This letter serves to inform Phillips 66 that without the necessary information and funding, the county cannot complete processing the application as directed by the Planning Commission.” As of July 22, the county had received only part of the information it has requested and none of the money, Hostetter said. Phillips 66 did not respond directly to questions by The Tribune on Friday as to whether the company plans to meet the county’s Aug. 15 deadline to pay the fees and provide the missing information. Instead, it sent this statement: “Phillips 66 presented a strong proposal, and we remain confident about the project,” the statement said. “We understand and respect the review and approval process with the county, and look forward to the next step in the EIR process.”
Phillips 66 also faces questions regarding their recent decision to truck oil directly into the refinery which according to the county is likely a violation of the county’s permit and will require a new permit as well as a trucking plan detailing the new oil-by-truck method. “Bringing in crude by truck is a modification of the refinery and, additionally, may have the potential to cause significant impacts,” Hostetter said in a June 30 letter to Phillips 66. The refinery’s maintenance supervisor, James Anderson, responded to the county in a letter dated July 14 in which he denied the assertions that the trucking of oil is a modification of the refinery and disputes the notion that a trucking plan is required. The letter refers to the refinery’s official name, the Santa Maria Refinery. “Phillips 66 does not need any new permits or modifications to its existing permits to deliver feedstocks by rail to SMR (Santa Maria Refinery) in the manner in which it is currently performed,” Anderson’s letter stated. “Such activity has been a long-standing practice, albeit intermittent, and is not part of the rail extension project.”
July 19, 2016: Phillips Reduces FCCU Feed after Compressor Trip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips operators reported that a compressor at its Sweeny, Texas refinery tripped offline at 12:51 a.m. CDT Tuesday due to a false high level in the steam knock out drum, which resulted in emissions from the coker flare and Unit 3 fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), according to a filing with state regulators. 
July 18, 2016: FCCU Running at Reduced Rates Due to Cooling Issues at Phillips 66’s Wood River Refinery
Phillips reduced rates on a 48,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Wood River refinery on Monday due to cooling issues, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The source described the production cuts as “modest,” but did not give a specific figure. The refinery has a second FCCU, which has a capacity of 42,000 b/d and is unaffected, the source said. 
July 14, 2016: A Catastrophic Oil Train Derailment in Oregon Raises Fears of Phillips 66's Rail Spur Proposal on California's Central Coast
The Los Angeles Times reported on July 14, 2016 in a major story by Robin Abcarian titled "A catastrophic oil train derailment in Oregon raises fears on Central Coast" that Alene Burns, mayor of Mosier, Oregon, spoke to activists in San Luis Obispo about hat happened when a mile-long train loaded with crude oil derailed in Mosier in June 16, 2016.
Sixteen of 96 cars toppled from the tracks. Four exploded. The area, a windsurfing mecca known for its constant high winds, was spared more explosions only because the air was unusually still that day. “If it had been a normal, windy day,” Burns said, “the explosions would have had a domino effect.” Still, a monstrous plume of black smoke could be seen for miles. About 200 yards away, 225 schoolchildren were evacuated and began their summer vacation a week early. Their school was quickly converted to an incident command center. Twenty-three miles of I-84, which runs along the southern edge of the Columbia River, was closed, blocking access to Mosier. “Guess who couldn’t help us?” Burns said. “The first responders. They were stuck in gridlock traffic.” The Mosier fire burned for 15 hours. No one was hurt, but the town’s sewage treatment plant was inundated with 10,000 of the 42,000 gallons of spilled Bakken crude oil — a volatile, highly flammable mix. For days, toilets didn’t flush and showers didn’t work.
According to Abcarian, supervisors in counties up and down the state have officially opposed Phillips 66's Rail Spur Project to the Santa Maria Refinery. So have at least 22 city councils, from Berkeley to Los Angeles. The crude oil boom in places like North Dakota has lead to a significant increase in the number of such trains, along with a significant increase in derailments. Most people don’t want potentially explosive cargo barreling through their community. "As long as we depend so heavily on oil, we will have these battles. It makes economic sense for oil companies like Phillips to fight on," writes Abcarian. "But I take what Mayor Burns said to heart. Oil trains will derail. They are disasters waiting to happen. San Luis Obispo County supervisors are in a unique position to help protect every Californian who lives within a mile of Union Pacific’s tracks, often called “the blast zone.”"
July 12, 2016: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Santa Maria Upgrading Facility
Phillips reported a process upset that caused a 23 minute flaring event at its Santa Maria upgrading facility in Arroyo Grande, California, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. Phillips 66 said the facility returned to normal operations. 
July 9, 2016: Activists Rally Against Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Spur Proposal
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on July 9, 2016 that more than 150 activists gathered for a rally at Mitchell Park in downtown San Luis Obispo to protest a proposed Phillips 66 rail spur that would add five tracks and allow crude oil to be hauled to their Santa Maria Refinery. The rally commemorated the three-year anniversary of a derailment near Lac-Mégantic, Quebec where a stopped train hauling 72 crude oil tank cars rolled downhill and derailed near the center of town. Forty-seven people were killed in ensuing explosions and fires.
Mayor Arlene Burns of Mosier, Oregon, spoke at the rally about a fiery oil train derailment near her town in June and urged San Luis Obispo County residents to stop the spur project. Attendees then marched to the nearby Amtrak station, many waving yellow “Stop Oil Trains Now” signs. The June 3 incident in the Columbia River Gorge near Mosier was caused by broken track bolts that derailed a train hauling more than 90 tank cars of crude oil. Some of the cars leaked oil and caught on fire, prompting Mosier, a tiny town of about 430, to evacuate its schools and many residents. “Trains derail,” said Burns. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
July 8, 2016: Opponents of Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur to Stage Protest Rally in San Luis Obispo
The Santa Maria Times reported on July 8, 2016 that opponents of Phillips 66's plan to bring oil trains to Santa Maria Refinery will gather for a "Stop the Oil Trains Rally" on July 9, 2016 at Mitchell Park in downtown San Luis Obispo. Guest speakers at the rally will include Arlene Burns, mayor of Mosier, Oregon, who will talk about her experiences being a part of a blast zone after a Union Pacific Railroad train, towing cars filled with crude oil, derailed and exploded near her community early last month, according to organizers. Fourteen cars were involved in the June 4 Columbia River Gorge accident, causing the evacuation of schools in Mosier and the shutdown of Interstate 84 between Hood River and The Dalles. Organizers plan to lead a peaceful march at 1:15 p.m. from the park to the nearby Amtrak station, where additional speakers will address the crowd.
July 5, 2016: Phillips Reports FCCU Work at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported work on the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Sweeny, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 
June 29, 2016: Boilermaker Sues Phillips 66 for Negligence at Wood River Refinery
The Madison Record reported on June 29, 2016 that James Mason filed a lawsuit June 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against Phillips 66 Company, ConocoPhillips WRB Partner LLC, Phillips 66 WRB Partners Holdings, Cenovus Energy US LLC and WRB Refining LLC, doing business as Conoco Phillips Wood River Refinery, alleging negligence in failing to provide a safe place to work. According to the complaint, on June 23, 2014, while in the course of working as a boilermaker at Conoco Phillips Wood River Refinery, Mason touched a wooden pole on which certain electrical equipment existed, causing him to be electrocuted and suffer serious injuries. The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to keep the area in safe and proper condition to prevent electric shock, failed to repair electric equipment near the wooden pole and failed to ground the wooden pole to prevent shock.
June 28, 2016: Phillips Shuts, Restarts RTO at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported it shut and restarted a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) on June 28. 
June 28, 2016: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported flaring from a process upset at its Rodeo, California refinery on June 28, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. 
June 27, 2016: Phillips to Restart Crude Unit at Wood River Refinery within 48 Hours
Phillips plans on restarting a 64,000b/d crude unit at its Wood River, Illinois refinery within the next 48 hours after it was unexpectedly shut down on Monday morning, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. 
June 21, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions from Coker Flare at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from the coker flare at its Sweeny, Texas refinery on June 21, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
June 16, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips on Thursday said normal operations resumed at its Borger, Texas refinery after an alkylation unit snag on June 15. The company also reported emissions on Wednesday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environment Quality. 
June 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Wet Gas Compressor Restart at Borger Refinery
Phillips restarted the wet gas compressor and reported emissions at its Borger, Texas, refinery on Tuesday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environment Quality.
June 12, 2016: Phillips Reports Shutdown in Coker Unit at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a shutdown in a coker unit at its Wilmington, California refinery due to an interruption in the electrical utility, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. Repairs were in progress and the flaring has been stopped, the filing added. The refinery has two linked facilities about five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington. 
June 10, 2016: Phillips 66 to Help Fund $746 Million Superfund Cleanup of Portland Harbor
Environmental Leader reported on June 10, 2016 that the EPA will ask more than 150 companies and other groups to foot the $746 million bill to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. Of the 150 potentially responsible parties identified by the EPA, 10 have already agreed to help with the cleanup process including Phillips 66. The 10 companies, which call themselves the Lower Willamette Group, include Arkema, Bayer CropScience, BNSF Railway Company, Chevron, Phillips 66, Union Pacific Railway and the city of Portland. The Lower Willamette Group (LWG) is composed of the ten parties who signed agreements with EPA to conduct the remedial investigation and feasibility study of the Site and four other parties who have contributed financially to the project. Lower Willamette Group spokesperson Barbara Smith told Oregon Public Broadcasting that the group is happy to see a cleanup plan for the river.
The pollution at the superfund site stems from a variety of industries, including shipbuilding, wood treatment and lumber milling, storage of bulk fuels and manufactured gas production, chemical manufacturing and storage, municipal sewer overflows and industrial storm water. The EPA says that hazardous substances found at the site include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans, pesticides and heavy metals, which can harm people and the environment. At the end of this first seven years, the EPA says health risks from the site’s pollution will drop as much as 100 times below the current levels.
June 3, 2016: Phillips Says Operations at Sweeny Refinery Unaffected by Tank Fires
Phillips said fires in four tanks had no impact on operations at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery on Friday. The fires burned for about three and half hours on Friday morning before being extinguished by refinery personnel. No injuries were reported due to the blazes. 
June 3, 2016: Western States Petroleum Association Sues State of California Over Emission Standards at Rodeo Refinery
Courthouse News Service reported on June 3, 2016 that the Western States Petroleum Association, or WSPA, sued the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in Contra Costa Superior Court, claiming the agency acted arbitrarily when it installed new rules aimed at curtailing emissions at five Bay Area refineries by 20 percent. The refineries include Chevron in Richmond, Tesoro outside of Convord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo, Valero in Benicia and Shell in Martinez. WSPA — along with Valero Refining, Tesoro Refining & Marketing and Phillips 66 — say the district did not perform the necessary environmental review, known as a CEQA analysis, when it implemented the new rules. It further asserts the mandate unfairly targets the oil and gas industry as the emissions reduction was not implemented in any other industry. The plaintiffs want the court to order the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to set aside the rules aimed at curtailing emissions at the five locations, as well as an injunction that prohibits the agencies from implementing certain provisions in the future. WSPA says the five refineries that comprise the Contra Costa-Solano refinery belt — the largest in California — account for less than three percent of air pollutants in the area.
June 3, 2016: Small Fire at Phillips 66's Sweeny Refinery
The facts reported on June 3, 2016 that a piece of processing equipment used for maintenance near a storage tank caught fire at Phillip 66's Sweeny Refinery about 4:45 a.m. “It was contained and extinguished by our internal emergency response team,” spokeswoman Regina Slaydon said. “As a precaution, the company gates were temporarily closed to traffic.” There were no injuries and the equipment was the only thing damaged. Employees were able to entinguish the fire themselves.
June 1, 2016: Proposed Carbon Cap Plan Would Affect Phillips 66's Ferndale Refinery
The Bellingham Herald reported on June 1, 2016 that Washington state regulators have unveiled an updated plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from large polluters, the latest attempt by Gov. Jay Inslee to push ahead with a binding cap on carbon emissions after struggling to win approval from legislators. The rule would initially apply to facilities that release at least 100,000 metric tons of carbon a year including Phillips 66's Ferndale Refinery. Under the proposed rule, expected to be finalized in late summer, large emitters would be required to reduce carbon emissions by about 5 percent every three years, and show they achieved an average reduction of 1.7 percent per year.
Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, said his group is still concerned about the potential economic damage from this new regulation. “Placing a cap on carbon emissions that targets Washington’s best employers sends the wrong signal to businesses of all sizes, both those that are here already and those hoping to relocate here, by driving up energy costs for employers and families at a time when we are already beginning to see signs of an economic slowdown,” he said in a statement.
But some critics said the proposed rule doesn’t require enough emissions reductions and disregards current science. “We are extremely disappointed,” said Andrea Rodgers, an attorney representing young activists who sued the state to adopt new rules to limit carbon emissions based on the best-available science.
May 31, 2016: Phillips Does on Due-up Work on FCCU at Borger Refinery
Nasdaq reported on May 31, 2016 that Phillips 66's Borger Refinery is undergoing two weeks of maintenance on equipment related to its gasoline-making uniy. "Unit 40 FCCU [fluid catalytic cracking unit] is scheduled to clean half of the blower surface condenser," it said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Unit 40 FCCU will reduce charge to minimize the possibility of process upset." The FCCU isn't scheduled to shut down during the work, which is due to end June 13, but that it may lead to plant emissions.
May 30, 2016: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring, Breakdown at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring due to a breakdown at its Wilmington, California refinery, according to a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District. 
May 26, 2016: Phillips Reports Equipment Problems at Sweeny Refinery
Nasdaq reported on May 26, 2016 that Phillips 66 reported problems with equipment and emissions at its Sweeny refinery in Texas. "The wastewater plant regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) went into standby mode, and the bioreactor tank, Tank 69, vented," it said. "This RTO standby mode is a continuation of operational issues resulting from the May 21, 2016 power failure." Phillips said the emissions began May 24, 2016 and ended May 25, 2016.
May 26, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring, Process Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported flaring due to process unit upset at its Wood River, Illinois refinery on May 26, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
May 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from a wastewater treatment plant at its Sweeny, Texas refinery on May 25, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
May 22, 2016: Phillips Reports Power Failure Shuts Multiple Units at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported multiple units were shut after a third party power outage at its Sweeny, Texas refinery over the weekend, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Work was ongoing to restore the process units to steady rates after power was restored at the refinery, the filing said. A fluid catalytic cracking unit, a gas oil hydrotreater, and two crude units were listed among sources of emissions. 
May 19, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Borger, Texas Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from the unit 82 amine treater at its Borger, Texas refinery on May 19, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environment Quality.
May 18, 2016: Opponents Vow to Stay in Fight Against Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Project
Chris McGuinness wrote in the New Times on May 18, 2016 that feelings ran high at the meeting of the SLO County Planning Commission when commission members moved forward with plans to approve a modified version of the proposed Phillips 66 rail spur project, with members of the audience booing commissioners who expressed their support of the project, and cheering those who did not. Heidi Harmon, a local activist and opponent of the project, said that the commissioners' actions at the meeting may have been disheartening but would also serve to further galvanize those who oppose it. "I think they were disappointed and disgusted, but not discouraged," Harmon said. "I think they were trying to thread the needle," said Laurance Shinderman, a member of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, an organization that opposes the project. "They bought into Phillips' shell game. ... We were disappointed." Whatever the commission's final decision is, it can still be appealed to the SLO County Board of Supervisors, the California Coastal Commission, and eventually the court system. The project will come back before the Planning Commission Sept. 22, and will include reopening public comment.
May 16, 2016: SLO County Planning Commission Agrees to Move Forward with Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project
KSBY reported on May 16, 2016 that the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission agreed to move forward with a proposal to extend a rail spur at the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery. There was a consensus by straw vote to approve the project in the future but no formal vote was put on the record. Many people have expressed concerns over the safety risks associated with the project, which is expected to result in three oil trains traveling into the refinery each week. The commissioners suggested some conditions for the project that will be later formalized. Another Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for September 22, when the commissioners will open up those conditions for public comment. Even if the Planning Commission does give final approval to the project, it still would have to go through the County Board of Supervisors for an appeals process and then the Coastal Commission.
May 11, 2016: Chevron Phillips Chemical Contract Worker Dies Weeks After Construction Site Injury
Houston Channel 2 reported on May 11, 2016 that a contract worker at the Chevron Phillips Chemical plant in Baytown has died. The worker, who was contracted by Fluor, was injured in an accident at Cedar Bayou construction site on April 23, the company said. He went through a series of procedures before he died. "Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron Phillips Chemical) can confirm that an employee of a contractor working on its US Gulf Coast Petrochemicals Project passed away on the evening of May 6 following hospitalization for injuries sustained at the Cedar Bayou construction site on April 23," said a statement by Chevron Phillips. "The contractor’s employee was transported from the company’s Cedar Bayou construction site to an area hospital and later transferred to a Houston trauma center where he had undergone a series of procedures." The identity of the worker has not been released.
May 6, 2016: Phillips Issue Force Majeure on Canadian Crude to Wood River Refinery Due to Alberta Wildfire
BP, Suncor Energy, and Phillips on Friday warned they will not be able to deliver on some contracts for Canadian crude, a further sign that output cuts due to wildfires are curbing supplies from the Alberta oil sands region. BP Plc said it had alerted customers to a force majeure event at one of its suppliers, which means several grades of Canadian crude oil will not be as readily available to its customers through the rest of May. BP produces oil in Canada via a partnership with Husky Energy Inc. Suncor Energy said it had issued various force majeure notifications to customers, service providers, and other third party contractors that will be affected by reduced operations in the region. Phillips issued notice of force majeure on Canadian crude deliveries due to interruptions in third-party oil production in Canada’s oil sands. A person familiar with BP’s U.S. refining operations said supplies to its 405,000 b/d Whiting, Indiana; 225,000 b/d Cherry Point, Washington; and 135,000 b/d Toledo, Ohio refineries have not been affected. The U.S. imports about 3.5 million b/d of Canadian crude oil. Record U.S. inventories and plentiful supplies in storage in Western Canada will offset some of the shutdown. According to Genscape, total inventories in Alberta were 26.5 million barrels at the end of April, equivalent to less than a month of output currently offline.
May 5, 2016: Phillips Reports Leak from Hydrocracker at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a small hydrogen leak from a hydrocracker at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. 
May 3, 2016: Rancher Files Lawsuit Against Phillips 66 for Pollution from Pipeline from Santa Maria Refinery
Cal Coast News reported on May 3, 2016 that Rob Rossi, an owner of the more than 14,000 acre Santa Margarita Ranch, filed a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66 on Friday for allegedly operating a pipeline that has contaminated a portion of his ranch. The pipeline extends 78 miles from Phillips 66's Santa Maria refinery to a junction pipe station in the San Joaquin Valley. In the years since the pipeline was constructed, the defendants removed or replaced the pipeline twice. During one of the maintenance projects, hydrocarbons were discovered to have leaked into the soil, according to the lawsuit. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board then opened an investigation that led to the discovery of oil related contaminants in the soil and groundwater in areas adjacent to the pipeline. The contaminates discovered showed that the leaks were not only historical but current, as some of the chemicals found were not added to oil until 2000, according to the lawsuit. In his lawsuit, Rossi is seeking that the defendants stop any continuing pipeline leaks, clean up any contamination from its pipeline on the property, reimburse Rossi for expenses related to the leaks, indemnify Rossi, pay damages for injury to the property, pay civil penalties for contaminating drinking water and pay Rossi’s legal costs. “Defendants’ petroleum hydrocarbon contamination on the headquarters property, in addition to posing a continuing threat to human health and the environment, has impeded and, until abated, will continue to impede Rossi’s ability to freely and beneficially use, enjoy and develop his property,” the lawsuit says.
April 27, 2016: Phillips Idles Part of Wood River Refinery
Reuters reported on April 27, 2016 that Phillips 66 has unexpectedly shut down a 64,000 barrel-per-day crude unit and associated vacuum distillation unit and a coker at Wood River Refinery after heavy storms knocked out power to the western portion of the plant on April 26, 2016, according to a source familiar with the plant's operations. It is still unclear when the units will be restarted, the source said.
April 27, 2016: Winds Tear Off Part of Roof at Phillips 66 Research Center Campus in Bartlesville
KJRH reported on April 27, 2016 that powerful wind gusts in Bartlesville tore off part of the roof at a building on the Phillips 66 Research Center campus off Highway 60 west of Bartlesville. A spokeswoman said no one was injured there, and the damage did not affect any business operations.
April 27, 2016: Phillips Shuts Crude Units, Coker after Storms Partially Knock Out Power at Wood River Refinery
Phillips shut down a 64,000 b/d crude unit, an associated vacuum distillation unit, and a coking unit at its Wood River, Illinois refinery on Tuesday after heavy storms knocked out power to the western portion of the plant, a source familiar with the plant’s operations said. The source added that it was unclear when the units would be restarted. 
April 26, 2016: Phillips Shuts CDU at Wood River, Illinois Refinery Due to Power Outage
Phillips shut down a 64,000 b/d crude distillation unit (CDU), a vacuum distillation unit, and a coker unit in the western portion of its Wood River, Illinois, refinery on Tuesday due to a power outage, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. It was unclear when the units would be restarted, the source said. 
April 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported emissions and a release of sulfur dioxide at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
April 22, 2016: Phillips 66 says Planned Work is Underway at Sweeny Refinery after an April 22 Power Malfunction
Reuters reported on April 27, 2016 that Phillips 66 says planned work is underway at its 247,000 bpd Sweeny, Texas refinery after an April 22 power malfunction.
April 22, 2016: Phillips Reports Power Malfunction at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported that a power malfunction led to the shutdown of various process units on Friday at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The units were restarted and the event ended on Saturday morning. The filing listed a sulfur recovery unit, a coker flare, and a flare gas recovery unit as sources of emissions due to the incident. 
April 21, 2016: Commercial Operations Begin on Bayou Bridge Pipeline from Texas to Lake Charles Refinery
Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC, a joint venture between Phillips Partners L.P., Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., announced on Thursday the first leg of its Bayou Bridge crude oil pipeline commenced commercial operations from Nederland, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the company has agreed to connect to Phillips Partners’ Clifton Ridge terminal and Citgo’s 427,800 b/d Lake Charles refinery. In addition, Bayou Bridge completed a successful binding open season to expand the system with a 24-inch extension segment from Lake Charles to St. James, Louisiana oil hub with connections to Plains Marketing, L.P.’s and NuStar Energy L.P.’s crude oil terminals. The second segment remains on schedule to start up in the second half of 2017.
April 16, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions Due to Equipment Failure at Alliance Refinery
Phillips on Saturday reported a release of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere from a bypass valve due to equipment failure at its Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, according to a filing with the National Response Center.
April 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Borger Refinery
Operators reported that sulfur dioxide emissions from the “GOHDS HC flare” at the refinery on Thursday afternoon continued for more than 2 hours, according to a filing with state regulators. Operators investigated the cause of the incident and restarted the equipment. In another filing, operators reported emissions from the Unit 40 Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit began early Friday morning and continued for almost an hour. Operators were investigating the cause of that incident, as well. 
April 13, 2016: Phillips Reports Flare Gas Recovery System Offline at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported the flare gas recovery system tripped offline at its Ferndale, Washington refinery, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency. The company also reported sulfur dioxide emissions at the refinery. 
April 12, 2016: Phillips Reports Unit Startup Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips on Tuesday reported a “unit startup upset” at its Wood River refinery, according to a filing with state regulators. The refinery is returning to normal operations following the restart of TransCanada’s Keystone crude oil pipeline on Sunday. Since April 4, rates at the refinery were reduced and two units were shut due to supply issues stemming from the Keystone pipeline closure on April 2. 
April 10, 2016: Phillips Returning Wood River Refinery to Normal Operations after Keystone Pipeline Restarts
Phillips said its Wood River refinery in Illinois was in the process of returning to normal operations on Monday following the restart of TransCanada’s Keystone crude oil pipeline on Sunday. Since April 4, rates at the refinery were reduced and two units were shut due to supply issues stemming from the Keystone pipeline closure on April 2. 
April 5, 2016: Phillips 66’s Wood River Refinery Shuts Crude Unit, Coker
Running at Minimum Rates Following TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Closure – Sources Phillips on Tuesday shut a 64,000 b/d heavy, sour crude distillation unit (CDU) and 16,000 b/d coker unit at its Wood River, Illinois refinery due to the sudden closure of the 591,000 b/d Keystone crude oil pipeline, according to a source familiar with operations. On April 4, sources indicated the refinery had cut processing rates to minimal levels as a result of the outage. Phillips said it was still meeting product supply commitments to its customers in the region. TransCanada, which shut the pipeline on April 2 to investigate and remediate a spill of about 187 gallons near its Freeman pump station in Hutchinson County, South Dakota, anticipates the earliest restart date on Friday, April 8. 
April 2, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from the unit 40 fluid catalytic cracking unit stack exceeded 35 percent opacity at its Borger, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
April 2, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions Due to Compressor Upset at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported a release of sulfur dioxide due to a wet gas compressor upset at its Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery on April 2, according to a filing with the National Response Center. 
April 1, 2016: Phillips Reveals Upgrade Plans for Billings Refinery
Phillips said it was planning upgrades at its Billings Refinery including a $300 million upgrade project to run 100 percent heavy crudes as well as crude oil with high acid content was slated for completion by 2017. 
April 1, 2016: Phillips Reveals Upgrade Plans for Wood River Refinery
Phillips said it was planning upgrades at its 336,000 b/d Wood Rover, Illinois refinery and its 59,000 b/d Billings, Montana refinery in order to process additional heavy Canadian crude. The company will invest $200 million to modernize a fluid catalytic cracking plant at the Wood River site, but did not disclose a timeline for the work. Other activities at the Wood River site include expanding the refinery’s ultra-low sulfur diesel output and increasing capacity to process an additional 18,000 b/d of diluted heavy crude, which are slated to start-up in the third quarter of 2016. In Billings, a $300 million upgrade project to run 100 percent heavy crudes as well as crude oil with high acid content was slated for completion by 2017. 
March 29, 2016: Phillips Reports FCCU Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) stack exceeded 35 percent opacity at its Borger, Texas refinery.
March 15, 2016: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset at Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
March 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Compressor Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a compressor shutdown and excessive flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery on Monday.
March 12, 2016: Phillips Reports HCU Malfunction, Flaring at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a hydrocracker unit (HCU) malfunctioned, which resulted in flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The company said the refinery continued operating.
March 11, 2016: Public Comment Closes on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project
KSBY reported on March 11, 2016 that more than 120 people, both proponents and opponents, took the podium for the final day of comment on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project. The first three days of public hearings drew more than 400 people from all around the state. "It's been a long day, it has been a long four weeks," said San Luis Obispo Planning Commissioner Don Campbell. "We are happy to begin deliberations now. We have a lot of information to go through."
In the previous hearings, hundreds of people spoke out, stating how the risk of a derailment would be catastrophic. Supporters of the proposal pointed to the company's safety record as well as the jobs that would be created from the extension. Commissioners will be reviewing comments received from the public and federal laws on the proposed project. They will also be meeting with the county's attorneys regarding local laws and other legal obligations if they decide to approve the project. "It's going to take us some time to digest what we've heard from the public and to review all the components before we can make a decision on the project," said Campbell.
March 11, 2016: Phillips Reports Upset at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported a flare gas recovery system upset and excess sulfur dioxide emissions at its Ferndale, Washington refinery, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency. The company also said there was no planned maintenance currently underway at the refinery.
March 9, 2016: Phillips Shuts FCCU after Failed Restart at Bayway Refinery
Phillips shut its 150,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) on Wednesday morning after an attempt to restart the unit failed, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The FCCU experienced an issue with a valve and was initially forced to shut down overnight, the source said. The source was not aware of the new timetable to restart the unit. Earlier Wednesday, the company advised the community that flaring may occur as the FCCU restarts, according to a taped recording on the refinery’s community hotline.
March 8, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring, Compressor Issue at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported flaring due to a compressor issue at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
March 4, 2016: Phillips Reports Emission, Repairs at Borger Refinery
Nasdaq reported on March 4, 2016 that Phillips will begin a month-long emissions event related to maintenance repairs at its Borger refinery. "The line going to Unit 34's SRU [sulfur recovery unit] incinerator is partially plugged with sulfur," it said in a filing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It said sections of that line will be heated in an effort to melt out the sulfur, and that "there may be visible emissions during the heating of the line." Phillips said, however, that the Unit 34 SRU isn't scheduled to go down. It said the emissions event was scheduled to begin Friday morning and last until April 4.
March 3, 2016: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a process unit was stabilized after an upset at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
March 1, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from a catalytic reformer and sulfur dioxide emissions from a coker flare, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
February 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency
February 25, 2016: Comments Are Evenly Split at Second Hearing for Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on February 25, 2016 that the first two days of the hearing on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project held on February 4 and 5 drew hundreds of people to San Luis Obispo, with many urging county planning commissioners to reject the rail spur extension project but the second hearing of the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, held on February 25, 2016 heard from more than 20 people with comments evenly split between opponents and supporters.
Several of the supporters who work at the refinery stressed Phillips' commitment to safety and track record of “being a good neighbor.” “It is the safest company that I’ve ever worked for,” said Jerry Harshbarger, who works in purchasing. “We still have a strong demand for fossil fuels and stopping this project will not stop that demand.” Another San Luis Obispo resident said the products of gas and oil could be seen throughout the room, and urged: “We as a community should work toward how to do this.” “You drive a car and go up to the pump,” Laura Mordaunt said. “A truck is there filled with gas that is way more volatile. Your vehicle parked in your garage is far more dangerous than this process and yet you continue to drive.” For some who spoke Thursday, it is their jobs and the jobs of their loved ones on the line. “The refinery is really concerned about their ability to stay operational. That affects 200 families, We are concerned with that,” explained Vince Herrera, a Santa Maria resident who works as a Process Control Engineer at the Santa Maria Refinery. In recent hearings, Phillips 66 said if the rail project is denied, the company will deliver the oil anyway, using 100 trucks per week. Company officials say three trains per week would be safer and less disruptive.
Opponents, meanwhile, say that commissioners should not take into account the company’s safety record or personal relationships. “Their plan is an irreversible disaster,” Nipomo resident Nora Lee said. “The effects will be felt instantly with poisonous air pollution.”
February 24, 2016: Phillips Reports No Impact to Operations from Brief, Weather-Related Power Outages at Wood River Refinery
Phillips said there was no impact to operations from brief, weather-related power outages in non-process areas of its Wood River, Illinois Refinery on Wednesday. Energy Intelligence Service Genscape had previously reported that the refinery had shut down a 64,000 b/d crude unit, a 30,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit, and a 16,000 b/d coker unit. The St. Louis region experienced heavy wet snow overnight, leading to power outages, including in the vicinity of the refinery, according to an outage map on Ameren’s website. The energy provider Ameren would not disclose whether the refinery experienced a power outage. The units are in the western portion of the refinery, adjacent to a neighborhood that experienced power outages, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The refinery is supplied partially by crude out of Cushing, Oklahoma. The company did not clarify if the unit shutdowns were associated with the power outages.
February 18, 2016: Phillips Reports Release at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a release occurred at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
February 16, 2016: Phillips 66 Investigates Noise and Flaring at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on February 16, 2016 that a hydrogen plant unit's startup led to a burst of noise that was audible in some homes near Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery. "There was overpressuring, and the start-up created a boom sound, and flaring did occur," said spokesman Paul Adler. The unit, which was being started up for the first time, was immediately shut down so workers could investigate. On social media, residents in Rodeo and Hercules took note of the loud burst. "We believe that there is no more noise occurring, but it probably was loud," Adler said. "We've got superintendents monitoring, and I can understand why the community is wondering what is going on."
February 16, 2016: Phillips Says Hydrogen Plant Next to Rodeo Refinery, Experienced Flaring
Phillips on Wednesday said a hydrogen plant operated by Air Liquide, located adjacent to its Rodeo refinery in California experienced flaring on Tuesday. The hydrogen plant unit, which provides the Rodeo refinery with hydrogen, was shut to investigate the cause of the flaring, Contra Costa Times said on Tuesday. 
February 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Unplanned Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported flaring due to an unplanned unit shutdown at its Rodeo, California refinery on Sunday, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Service Department. Refinery operations were continuing and no evacuations or injuries were reported, it added.
February 12, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery Releasing Over 500 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide
Nasdaq reported on February 12, 2016 that Phillips 66 reported flaring and equipment malfunction on February 12, 2016 at its refinery in Rodeo, Calif. "RQ [reportable quantity] is exceeding greater than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide being released at the refinery due to an equipment malfunction," according to a statement on the website of the California Emergency Management Agency.
February 9, 2016: Phillips Reports Compressor Trip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported the flow gas recovery compressor tripped on low suction at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
February 4, 2016: Hundreds Condemn Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project in Public Hearings
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on February 4, 2016 that hundreds of local residents and others from around California attended a public hearing to urge the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to reject Phillips 66 Co.’s request to receive crude oil by rail at its Santa Maria Refinery. For several hours, planning commissioners heard appeals from 83 people — a combination of residents from San Luis Obispo County, and northern and southern California, as well as elected officials — all urging they reject a proposal to build a 1.3-mile spur with five parallel tracks from the main rail line to the Nipomo Mesa refinery, an unloading facility at the refinery and on-site pipelines. About 390 people had grabbed speaker comment slips as of Thursday afternoon, including those who spoke that day. Public comment will continue Friday and possibly to a future date, depending on how many of the speakers turn out. None of the 83 public speakers on Thursday spoke in favor of the Phillips 66 proposal. San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx was among the elected officials or their representatives who urged denial of the project. “Whether it’s five or three trains, our city would be placed at unique risk to this project,” she said.
At lunch, about 600 people from around the state rallied across the street from the hearing to protest the project. Some supporters were seen too, with green “Protect Jobs” signs, but they were far outnumbered by opponents with “Stop Oil Trains Now” posters and signs proclaiming, “We Risk, They Benefit” and “Invest in Solar.”
Representatives from Phillips 66 urged the commissioners to approve an alternate plan to allow three trains a week instead of five. “The three-train-per-week project is now our proposed project,” said Jocelyn Thompson of Alston & Bird LLP. It “eliminates all of the Class 1 impacts with respect to onsite activities,” she added, referring to the highest level of negative impacts to air quality and biological resources referenced in the project’s final Environmental Impact Report. The county staff report states that three trains a week — or 150 a year — would reduce the significant toxic air emissions to no longer be considered a “Class 1 significant impact.” However, the county’s planning staff said other significant impacts still would harm the environment even with three trains per week rather than five: construction of the facilities would still disturb environmentally sensitive habitat, and emissions of diesel particulate matter would still remain a “Class 1” impact.
Thompson added that if the project is denied, crude oil will still come into California by rail and eventually reach the refinery, albeit by a different route: Oil would arrive in the Central Valley by train and then be trucked about 110 miles through San Luis Obispo County to Santa Maria, where it would be pumped into a pipeline and sent to the refinery. “It’s impermissible for you to say that you’re going to deny the project because there’s a train on the tracks,” she said. “The train will come to the San Joaquin Valley and you will be dealing with trucks.”
When asked during a break if layoffs could happen if the project is denied, Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said, “We’re going to wait and see what is going to happen with the process.”
February 2, 2016: Phillips to Modernize FCCU at Bayway Refinery
Phillips said on Tuesday it was planning to modernize the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey. The project would include replacing the existing older reactor with modern technology that will increase gasoline and diesel yield by about 4,000 b/d, a company spokesman said. The company further clarified, that the overall unit capacity of the FCCU would remain unchanged at 145,000 b/d.
February 1, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
February 1, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency
January 27, 2016: Phillips Reports Unit Upset, Flaring at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips on January 27 reported a unit upset, release of benzene from an exchanger, and flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery.
January 27, 2016: Planning Commission Approves Phillips 66’s Oil Pipeline Replacement Plan to Santa Maria Refinery
The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved Philips 66’s plans for the replacement of a 70-year-old crude oil pipeline in the Santa Maria Valley, California. The 1.2-mile pipeline carries crude from Line 300 that originates from offshore Platform Irene and the Lompoc area. The modernizations include an automatic shutdown system that can isolate the line in case of an emergency. The existing line will be purged, cleaned and abandoned in place, the report said, but it will continue to be utilized while the new line is being put into place to avoid an interruption of service.
January 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Excess Emissions at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips on January 25 reported excess carbon monoxide from the crude topping unit feed heater, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
January 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery Releasing 500 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide
Nasdaq reported on January 25, 2016 that Phillips 66 reported flaring of gases at Rodeo Refinery while conducting schedule shutdown procedures, which caused a flare releasing more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The filing said the flaring happened Friday, adding "there should be no environmental impacts from the release."
January 25, 2016: San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning Recommends Denial of Phillips 66 Rail Project at Santa Maria Refinery
KSBY reported on January 25, 2016 that the San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building is recommending to planning commissioners that they deny a proposal by Phillips 66 to bring in crude oil to its Santa Maria Refinery by rail. According to the staff report the project would be detrimental to health, safety and welfare of the public, it includes significant and unavoidable environmental impacts including a cancer risk to nearby residents, and it has no benefits that outweigh the risk to the environment.
Significant local, regional, and statewide concern has been expressed throughout the various phases of the Project including land use incompatibilities, toxic air emissions adjacent to the project site and adjacent to the UPRR mainline; risk of derailment, spill, and explosion in areas adjacent to the mainline; threat of impact to agricultural, biological, cultural, and water resources due to spill, fire, and explosion along the mainline; and, inadequate fire and emergency response services along UPRR mainline throughout the state in the event of a spill, fire or explosion. The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) concluded that the Project, for components only on the project site, would result in two significant and unavoidable impacts (Class I impacts) stemming from diesel particulate matter emissions and toxic air emissions generated by increased locomotive activity at the Santa Maria Refinery site.
January 24, 2016: Borger Refinery to Produce Above Average Emissions Over the Next Month
Nasdaq reported on January 24, 2016 that Phillips 66's Borger Refinery will emit above-average emissions starting January 24, 2016 due to scheduled maintenance. "Unit 40 FCCU (Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit) Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) is scheduled for maintenance," the refinery said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "The FCCU is not scheduled to go down. During maintenance there may be high opacity and particulates released from the stack." Excess emissions could occur over the next month until February 24, 2016.
January 22, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring Due to Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported its refinery was conducting shutdown procedures which caused a flare releasing more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide
January 17, 2016: Phillips Reports Upset at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a plant upset and emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery on January 17.
January 17, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from a diesel hydrotreater unit at its Rodeo, California, refinery on Sunday, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
January 14, 2016: Phillips 66 Fined $324,000 for Citations for Fire and Hazardous Chemical Safety at Ferndale Refinery Dating from 2014
The Bellingham Herald reported on January 14, 2015 that Phillips 66 was hit with a $324,000 fine by the state for several workplace violations revolving around fire and hazardous chemical safety at Ferndale Refinery. The refinery received the fine for violations that took place in 2014 and were not corrected, according to a news release from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.The 2014 citations are under appeal, but state law requires employers to correct hazards even if the violations are under appeal, according to L&I. The refinery was cited for three violations, each carrying a $108,000 fine. Two involve the refinery’s firefighting and fire suppression systems. According to the state agency, Phillips 66 did not inspect or follow recognized and generally accepted engineering practices for the firefighting water tank or the buried firefighting water distribution piping. The company also failed to address the potential loss of firefighting water, according to the report.
The third violation involved not consulting industry material before writing a policy about chemical piping. Following the company’s policies potentially allowed workers to be potentially exposed to hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas, and explosive flammable hydrocarbon vapors at much higher concentrations than considered safe. Employers in high-hazard chemical industries are expected to make sure that their internal policies and guidelines reflect current good engineering practices across those industries and that they meet local regulations, which may be stricter than national regulations.
Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery spokesman Jeff Callender said company officials were disappointed by the announcement from the agency and believe there is a misunderstanding related to the citations. They plan to continue to work cooperatively with the agency through the appeals process. “The safety of the community, the environment and our people are of the utmost importance to our company and these priorities guide our efforts in everything we do,” said Callender.
January 13, 2016: Phillips Reports Sour Gas Recovery Machine Trip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a sour gas recovery machine trip at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
January 9, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported emissions due to a loss of the wet gas compressor at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery on Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The refinery was working to safely restart the compressor, the filing added
January 11, 2016: Phillips Reports Multiple Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported multiple unit upsets due to cold weather at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
January 6, 2015: Ferndale Refinery to Reduce Emissions 5 percent Annually Under New State Rules
The Bellingham Herald reported on January 6, 2015 that Wahington state’s largest industrial emitters would be required to reduce carbon emissions by 5 percent every three years, under a proposed rule from the Department of Ecology. Phillips 66's Ferndale likely would be included in the first wave of facilities required to meet the reductions under the rule, as would Puget Sound Energy’s generating stations at Ferndale and Sumas. The proposed rule’s starting thresholds are based on average emissions from 2012 to 2015. “It’s important that we act now to protect our water supplies, infrastructure and economy for future generations,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. The agency has scheduled four public hearings. It expects to finalize a rule by summer.
December 28, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported excess carbon monoxide from the fluid catalytic cracking unit regenerator on December 28 and excess carbon monoxide from a reactor preheater on December 30 at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery.
December 28, 2015: Phillips Reports Excess Carbon Monoxide at Ponca Refinery
On December 28, Phillips Corp reported excess carbon monoxide emissions and unit upsets due to power blips during a winter storm at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality that was made public on Wednesday. 
December 21, 2015: Emergency Responders Extinguish Fire at Ferndale Refinery
Reuters reported on December 21, 23015 that a fire occurred at Phillips 66's refinery in Ferndale, Washington. "Emergency responders from Phillips 66 immediately extinguished the fire. There were no injuries and the incident is under investigation," a spokesperson for Phillips 66 said. The company did not say whether the fire had impacted operations, or which units were impacted by the fire.
December 18, 2015: Fire Reported at Phillips 66’s Ferndale Refinery
A fire was reported on Friday night at Phillips 66’s refinery in Ferndale, Washington. Emergency responders from Phillips immediately extinguished the fire and the incident was under investigation. The company did not say whether the fire had impacted operations, or which units were impacted by the fire.
December 12, 2015: Phillips 66 Reports Cooling Tower Leak at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a chemical leak developed on an injection to one of the cooling water towers on December 12, according to a filing with the National Response Center.
December 2, 2015: Phillips Plans to Restart FCCU at Wood River Refinery by Weekend
Phillips plans to restart a 45,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) at its Wood River, Illinois refinery by this weekend, according to a person familiar with the plant’s operations. The FCCU was shut mid-November for about 21 days of work.
November 27, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported sulfur dioxide emissions at its Borger, Texas refinery, November 27, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
November 26, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset that led to flaring at its Wood River, Illinois refinery on Thursday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
November 23, 2015: Phillips Reports Waste Water Treatment Unit Malfunction at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported the waste water treatment unit malfunctioned at its Sweeny, Texas refinery.
November 22, 2015: Phillips Reports Compressor Malfunction at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported the regenerative thermal oxidizer released benzene to the air due to mechanical issues with a compressor on November 22. 
November 21, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Flaring at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported flaring from the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Borger, Texas refinery on Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The equipment was restarted to stop the event, according to the filing.
November 20, 2015: Phillips Shuts CDU, VDU, Coker Unit at Wood River Refinery Due to Power Loss
Phillips shut a 64,000 b/d crude distillation unit (CDU), a 30,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit (VDU), and a 16,000 b/d coker unit at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois, due to a power outage, according to a person familiar with the plant’s operations. The power outage was limited to the west side of the refinery, the source said. There was no immediate timetable for a restart, but the source said it would probably not take long. The refinery gets a portion of its crude supply via pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma.
November 19, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
November 18, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from flare 29 at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery.
November 16, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported flaring at its Wilmington, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
November 16, 2015: Phillips Shuts FCCU at Wood River Refinery
Phillips shut a 45,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) at its Wood River, Illinois refinery for up to 21 days of work, according to a source. The decision to shut down the unit was made in recent days, according to the source
November 11, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring at the Carson facility of its Wilmington, CA refinery Wednesday afternoon, according to a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The refinery has two linked facilities about 5 miles apart in Carson and Wilmington. The former processes crude oil while the latter upgrades the products. 
November 17, 2015: Safway Awarded OSHA VPP Star Status at Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery
Virtual-Strategy Magazine reported on November 17, 2015 that the Safway Services team at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La., has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and approved for participation in the Star Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). This premiere recognition program is reserved for employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards and a commitment to continuous improvement of their safety and health management systems. “Achieving this prestigious safety recognition reflects Safway’s commitment to safety,” said Paul Amedee, vice president of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) for Safway Group. “Receiving VPP certification requires a collaborative effort between our client, Phillips 66, and Safway – on every level – from field management to the executive team. I would like to thank everyone at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery for helping us reach this important safety milestone.”
November 6, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring Event at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a flaring event at its Wilmington, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The refinery has two linked facilities about five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington. The former processes crude oil while the latter upgrades the products.
November 4, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process unit upset at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
November 3, 2015: Phillips Says Rodeo Refinery Returning to Normal Operations
Phillips said its Rodeo, California refinery was in the process of returning to normal operations after it experienced operational issues.
November 1, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Westlake Refinery
Phillips reported hydrogen was released from a flare stack at its Westlake, Louisiana refinery due to a compressor that was shut.
October 31, 2015: Phillips Experiences Flaring, Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips on Sunday experienced flaring while switching a coker drum at its Wood River, Illinois refinery, a source familiar with plant operations said on Monday. There was no impact to operations, the source added. Additionally, the refinery had reported a unit upset on Saturday, according to a filing with Illinois Emergency Management Agency over the weekend. 
October 30, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a flaring event at its Wilmington, California, refinery. The company said the refinery continues to operate
October 30, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reports emissions from the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Borger, Texas refinery. The equipment was restarted to stop the event.
October 30, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators.
October 28, 2015: Phillips Reports Small Hydrocarbon Leak Contained at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips on Wednesday reported a small hydrocarbon leak was contained at its Rodeo, California refinery
October 27, 2015: Phillips Reports Startup, Excess Emissions at Ponca Refinery
Phillips reported an unspecified unit startup and carbon monoxide from the fluid catalytic cracking unit regenerator at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery
October 26, 2015: Phillips Says Lake Charles Refinery Returning to Normal Operations after Power Dip
Phillips on Tuesday said power was restored at its Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery after a brief power loss on Monday. 
October 23, 2015: LA Times Reports that Nipomo Retirees are Taking on Phillips 66
The Los Angeles Times reported on October 23, 2015 that retirees in Nipomo are pooling their resources to fight Phillips plans to build a railroad terminal that would accommodate 260 crude oil-carrying trains a year at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery.
I imagine these folks are kind of a nightmare for Phillips 66. Ranging in age from 61 to 73, they are highly educated professionals with backgrounds in science, engineering, economics, air pollution and hospital administration, and they are, mostly, retired. Which means they have time. Time for research. Time to make PowerPoint presentations. Time to lobby mayors and city councils and school boards all over San Luis Obispo County, and the rest of the state. Time to appear at club meetings. Time to write newsletters. Time to compile lists of oil train derailments. Time to comb through the 2012 Phillips 66 annual report that described how employing a new "crude-by-rail strategy" would bring cheaper (or "cost-advantaged") oil to its refineries, boosting profits. "We became concerned because we are within shouting distance of their proposed terminal," said Martin Akel, 67, who owns a marketing consulting firm. "We saw a problem that affected health, safety and our very way of life."
"The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission is to take up the matter early next year. After that, the proposal goes to the county Board of Supervisors," writes Robin Abcarian. "No one knows how they will vote. But I'm putting my money on the retirees."
October 21, 2015: Laurence Shinderman Writes: "It's about more than oil
Laurence Shinderman had an op-ed in the Santa Maria Sun on October 21, 2015 opposing Phillips plans to bring oil trains to the Santa Maria Refinery.
A train terminal off-loading tar sands five times a week is not a risk we need to take. With 11 Class 1 impacts that cannot be mitigated both within the refinery and along the mainline as identified in the re-circulated DEIR (draft environmental impact report)—that relate to air quality and environmental and public health and safety—this project should be stopped in its tracks. Phillips has circulated 11 reasons for the project to move forward, none of which stand up to the light of day and public scrutiny.
"To use the specious argument that we already have risk and hazardous products coming down the track does not mean that we should add more risk," concludes Shinderman.
October 21, 2015: Phillips Considers Adding Hydrocracker at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips is considering adding a hydrocracker to produce ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) at its Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery, the plant manager said on Tuesday. The refinery currently does not have the capability to produce ULSD. The refinery is also laying the foundation for a new fuels hydrotreater to enable it to meet Tier III gasoline standards. Additionally, the refinery plans to replace four coker drums in 2017.
October 20, 2015: Operations Return to Normal at Phillips 66’s Bayway Refinery
Operations at Phillips 66’s Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey were at normal planned levels Tuesday after a failure at a transformer led to a power outage on Monday, according to sources.
October 16, 2015: Phillips Reports Pipeline Release in Kern County, California
Phillips reported a crude gathering line was struck causing a release at Lost Hills in Kern County, California. The company said a containment hole was dug and lined with plastic to contain the release.
October 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Start-Up, Emissions at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reports a start-up at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery on October 14. The company also reports excess carbon monoxide emissions from an unspecified unit feed heater.
October 14, 2015: Phillips Warns of Above-Average Emissions at Borger Refinery for Next Nine Days
Nasdaq reported on October 14, 2015 that Phillips 66 has warned of above-average gas emissions during the next nine days at Borger Refinery as the plant undergoes seasonal maintenance. "A side of the Unit 40 Electrostatic Precipitator Cabinets (ESP) will be taken off line for maintenance," Phillips said in a filing posted Wednesday on the website of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "During maintenance there may be offline rapping. During the work there may be periods of high opacity and high particulate emissions. The Unit 40 FCCU is not scheduled to go down."
October 14, 2015: Phillips Reports ESP Work at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a side of the unit 40 electrostatic precipitator cabinets (ESP) will be taken offline for maintenance at its Borger, Texas refinery. The company added that the unit 40 fluid catalytic cracking unit was not scheduled to go down.
October 12, 2015: Phillips Plans Upgrades at Bayway Refinery
Phillips announced modernization plans of the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Bayway, New Jersey refinery, and an upgrade of the vacuum tower at its Billings, Montana refinery. In addition, the company said storage capacity was being added at its Beaumont terminal in Texas and it was investing in the Bayou Bridge pipeline project to move crude from Texas to Louisiana markets.
October 12, 2015: Phillips Plans Upgrades at Billings Refinery
Phillips announced an upgrade of the vacuum tower at its Billings, Montana refinery. In addition, the company said storage capacity was being added at its Beaumont terminal in Texas and it was investing in the Bayou Bridge pipeline project to move crude from Texas to Louisiana markets.
October 9, 2015: Al Fonzi Writes: "Fear campaign against Phillips 66 oil rail extension"
Al Fonzi has a letter to the editor in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on October 9, 2015 that there's a cynical campaign to terrorize the public with the specter of exploding rail tank cars carrying innocuous crude oil to the Santa Maria Refinery.
I say innocuous because trains carrying crude oil have been transiting the county for decades, from the oil fields of San Ardo in southern Monterey County to refining facilities in Los Angeles. It’s happening now. It’s been happening several times a week for 20 years, and nobody notices. It’s the same type of crude that Phillips 66 wants to bring in — high-sulfur crude similar to local crude oil for which the Santa Maria Refinery was specially designed.
We’re told there’s insufficient emergency response or hazmat capability. Not true. The county has a Hazardous Materials Team, most recently employed in Atascadero two weeks ago. Fire departments have combined resources to support a multi-agency response and routinely incorporate mutual aid for any incident, even routine structure fires. Phillips 66 and the railroads conduct joint training with fire departments, with Phillips 66 funding training for local responders at national training sites. Some local fire personnel are scheduled for such training in November.
"Numerous city and county government bodies have passed resolutions asking that SLO County not approve the Phillips 66 project in the hopes that will halt the 'bomb trains'," writes Fonzi. "Sadly, the resolutions passed by so many provide not safety, but a false sense of security."
October 6, 2015: Milpitas City Council Opposes Plan to Run Crude Oil Trains Through City
The Daily Democrat News reported on October 6, 2015 that the Milpitas City Council voted unanimously Sept. 15 to adopt a resolution opposing the transport of crude oil by trains along the Union Pacific Railroad lines through Milpitas to an unloading facility in San Luis Obispo County near Phillips 66's Santa Maria refinery. Specific to the City of Milpitas, Union Pacific rail lines run north and south through the city -- through heavily populated residential and commercial zones. "We're a suburban, urbanized community," said Milpitas City Manager Tom Williams. "It's really a safety issue." William said other area cities actively opposed to this plan include Fremont, Union City, Hayward and Oakland. Williams noted a copy of the Milpitas council's resolution will be sent to Union Pacific Railroad as well as other entities in protest to these crude oil trains.
October 6, 2015: Phillips Reports Start-Up at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported an unspecified startup on October 6 at its 101,000 b/d Ferndale, Washington refinery.
October 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Carson Refinery
Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Carson Refinery
October 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips Reports Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery 
October 2, 2015: Phillips 66 Prepares for Hurriance Joaquin at Bayway Refinery
Reuters reported on October 2, 2015 that Phillips 66 is preparing for a big test at Bayway Refinery of whether they learned lessons from Hurricane Sandy as Hurricane Joaquin, a category 4 storm, could land early next week in the Mid-Atlantic region. Phillips 66 elevated power substations and hardened storm doors at a saltwater pump station after Hurricane Sandy forced the company to shut its 238,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Linden, New Jersey for weeks due to electrical issues, Dennis Nuss, a company spokesperson, said on Thursday. Not all the plant’s substations have been elevated, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. However, the substations most vulnerable to flooding have been raised, the source said. The company has already secured critical emergency equipment and resources for quicker post-storm mobilization. This includes temporary office space, housing, food, fuel and generators, Nuss said. “The safety of our employees and their families remains our highest priority," Nuss said.
Bayway Refinery Was Shut Down for Almost a Month in 2012 After Hurricane Sandy
Houston Business Journal reported on October 30, 2012 that Phillips 66 has reported a power outage at its Bayway refinery. The plant had been shut down as a precaution, but the outage could slow the recovery at the plant. Phillips 66 said there was "some flooding in low-lying areas" of the refinery. Utility PSE&G said power was likely to be restored no sooner than in 24 to 48 hours. The flooding at Bayway, which had been seen by experts as the refinery most vulnerable to Sandy's record 13-foot (4-meter) storm surge and subsequent power outages, is a potential second nightmare for Phillips 66, which had struggled to restore its Alliance, Louisiana, refinery after Hurricane Isaac in August. That storm pushed more than 2 feet of floodwater into the plant.
Phillips 66 reported on November 19, 2012 that the Bayway Refinery is expected to resume normal operations by the end of November. Work to repair or replace damaged equipment, primarily electrical equipment impacted by saltwater during the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, is progressing. The refinery’s processing units are in good condition. The Bayway polypropylene plant will follow the same restart schedule as the refinery.
October 1, 2015: Trespasser Reported at Phillips 66’s Wood River Refinery, Output Unaffected
Phillips reported an intruder at its Wood River refinery in Illinois to local law enforcement late Wednesday afternoon, but said operations were not affected. A person riding a bicycle was seen entering the premises of the refinery. The refinery asked local law enforcement to assist with a grid search of its facility, a company spokesman said on Thursday.
October 1, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery 
September 30, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset Involving Furnace at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips Reports Process Upset Involving Furnace at Sweeny Refinery 
Fox Business reported on November 27, 2012 that Bayway Refinery has resumed normal operations following extensive repair and replacement of equipment impacted by salt water during Hurricane Sandy.
September 30, 2015: Marcus Beal Writes "Phillips 66 is a Good Neighbor and Progress is Inevitable"
Marcus Beal said in a letter to the editor of New Times published on September 30, 2015 that Santa Maria Refinery has been a good neighbor for 60 years. "Refineries intentionally purchase large plots of land to provide a buffer between them and the surrounding community. This adds annual taxation cost but aids them from impacting the surrounding community. This is part of the philosophy of being a good neighbor," writes Beal. "They give back to the community and are a major source of tax revenue for the Central Coast and the state of California. They provide permanent employment for approximately 200 local residents, and during maintenance periods provide employment for an additional 300 temporary employees."
September 30, 2015: Oil Leak in Nipomo from Pipeline to Santa Maria Refinery
KSBY reported on September 30, 2015 that Phillips 66 is working to cleanup oil from a pipeline that was hit by equipment used by third-party workers doing farming on land in Nipomo at a site off Vista del Rio. Phillips 66 says oil was released and the pipeline was shut down immediately, but no injuries were reported to people or wildlife and there was no threat to anyone in the area. They also say the release was contained and no oil got into any waterways. The amount released is not known and the pipeline is expected to be up and running on October 1, 2015.
September 27, 2015: Tom Fulks Writes "Local officials Should Have the Courage to Comment on Phillips 66 Rail Project
Former reporter and political campaighn consultant Tom Fulks has an op-ed in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on September 27, 2015 that ssome local officials don’t have the political courage to carry out the job they were elected to do and not only do they refuse to take a position on the Phillips 66 Rail Project, currently under review by the county, they haven’t sufficiently explained their silence. There are 11 elected political bodies along the rail writes Fulks: San Miguel Community Services District, Templeton CSD, Santa Margarita Advisory Council, the city councils of Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande, and the Oceano and Nipomo CSDs. Other than Pismo, Grover and SLO, none has taken an official position. The Paso Robles council took no position but did offer a tepid note to the feds urging better rail safety.
Their silence on issues such as local rail safety, emergency preparedness and the risks accrued by those in or near the “blast zone” of an exploding oil train tanker is unconscionable. This entire project is politically predicated on the willingness of most SLO county residents to risk their health, safety and peace of mind so Phillips 66 alone can profit. The company’s fluffery about new jobs – exactly 12 – oil price uncertainty and other self-serving doublespeak is cover code for why we should willfully accept all the risk while Phillips reaps all the benefit.
"It’s in the “Elective Politics 101” course syllabus: 'Don’t let people die if you can help it.'" concludes Fulks. "That shouldn’t take extraordinary courage – it’s their job, after all. Yet, most other elected local folk up and down the track remain peculiarly silent, apparently unwilling to do their jobs."
September 25, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset, Flaring at Wood River Refinery
Phillips Reports Process Upset, Flaring at Wood River Refinery
September 25, 2015: Phillips 66 Expects to Restart NGL Fractionator in Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 expects to start its 100,000 b/d natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator in Sweeny, Texas by September 25, bringing online a key component of its planned liquids export terminal in nearby Freeport. The company on Wednesday filed an initial tariff for liquids shipments on pipelines in the Sweeny-Freeport area, which will deliver product including propane and butane from the fractionator to storage caverns along the Gulf coast. Delivery points include the major storage and fractionation hub at Mont Belvieu, Texas and Phillip 66’s Freeport, Texas marine terminal which is expected to start exporting NGLs in 2016. The Freeport terminal will offer an additional outlet for the oversupplied domestic NGL market, with capacity to export 4.4 million barrels of propane and butane per month.
September 24, 2015: Phillips 66 Co-Hosts Teacher's Workshop on Energy in Santa Maria
The Lompoc Record reported on September 24, 2015 that Phillips 66 Co. and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project hosted an energy education workshop to educate teachers in everything from energy transformation to the fractional distillation of oil. "Mainly, we are giving them the fundamental concepts to teach their children about energy," said Barry Scott, state program director of NEED. "Energy isn't traditionally taught, so we are filling in that gap. We want them to leave today saying, 'We've learned a lot and we can teach this." Mary Spruill, executive director of the NEED Project, and Lewis Marquez, a special education teacher in Bakersfield and a returning NEED workshop attendee, agreed with Scott, noting the training to be essential to education. "Phillips 66’s significant investment in energy education addresses the need for high-quality energy curriculum and training for today’s teachers and students," Spruill said. "Supporting NEED’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and workforce development programming engages students and teachers in a deeper understanding of energy."
September 23, 2015: Grover Beach to Send Letters of Concern over Phillip 66 Oil Trains
The New Times reported on September 23, 2015 that the Grover Beach City Council voted unanimously to draft a letter to the federal government addressing concerns over the issue of the Phillips 66 rail spur project and transporting crude oil by rail, which lies at the heart of the rail extension project. At the meeting, Grover Beach City Manager Robert Perrault said that while the construction and operation of the rail spur project would not have a significant impact on the city, a derailment would have a “potentially significant” impact. Both the city’s fire and police chiefs have also voiced their concerns about the city’s readiness in the event of a derailment. Police Chief John Peters said the city’s first responders had little training in scenarios involving railroad derailments. “In order to beef up preparedness, we need additional funding to equip and train officers and dispatchers regarding their duties during such emergencies,” Peters wrote in an email to Perrault. “Currently we do not have a budget for either training or equipment.”
September 22, 2015: Reverend Caroline Hall Writes: Phillips 66 and the Pope
Reverend Caroline Hall, rector of St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Los Osos, wrote in the Santa Maria Sun on September 22, 2015 that in the encyclical published in June, Laudato Si, the Pope calls for transparency in local planning and an approach that takes fully into account the environmental and social implications of any project. The thrust of his message is that we cannot continue to allow those who are rich and/or powerful to create projects that benefit them but not the rest of the planet.
Most oil trains reach their destinations safely without incident. But there is that small number that doesn’t. And this is where the Pope steps in, arguing that “if objective information suggests that serious and irreversible damage may result, a project should be halted or modified, even in the absence of indisputable proof.” Objective information in this situation suggests that the kind of oil that will be transported through San Luis Obispo County is highly flammable and that there is a possibility of an accident causing serious and irreversible damage. Objective information suggests that the very extraction of this oil is in itself damaging to the environment. Objective information also suggests that continuing to mine and burn fossil fuels is causing huge “serious and irreversible” changes to our climate.
It seems that the short-term objective of bringing the Nipomo refinery up to full operating capacity is in the interests of its owners and employees but at the long-term expense of the wider community and of the planet we depend on. Would it not be prudent to find alternative industry that can provide livelihoods for the employees affected and allow the refinery to become a relic of the past addiction to oil?
September 15, 2015: Pismo Beach Mayor Opposes Phillips 66 Oil Train Project
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on September 15, 2015 that Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham will join the list of individuals and agencies opposing the Phillips 66 Co. rail spur project, after the City Council considered its official stance on the project. The council initially considered sending a letter of concern to the county Planning Commission, rather than one officially opposing the project. At the urging of Councilwoman Sheila Blake and several members of the community, Higginbotham said she would revise the draft letter to one opposing the rail spur, and would make it from herself, rather than from the city of Pismo Beach.
September 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported an unspecified process unit upset at its Wood River, Illinois refinery on Monday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. 
September 11, 2015: Sulfur Recovery Unit Upset Leads to Flaring at Phillips 66’s Borger Refinery
Chevron Phillips on Friday reported an upset at the Phillips refinery Unit 34 had resulted in off-specification material being sent to the Chevron Phillips Borger Chemical Plant. Unit 34 is a sulfur recovery unit. Once aware of the refinery unit upset, operators at the chemical plant shut-in the refinery feed and attempted to process the off-spec hydrogen sulfide to minimize the subsequent flaring event. 
September 10, 2015: Phillips Delays Restart of FCCU at Wood River Refinery
Phillips has delayed the restart of a 42,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Wood River, Illinois, refinery until Monday, about four days later than initially expected, according to a person familiar with the plant’s operations. The FCCU was shut on Tuesday after a leak was discovered. The unit was initially expected to restart within 48 hours but was delayed due to technical problems, the source said on Thursday. 
September 9, 2015: Phillips Resumes Hauling North Dakota Bakken Crude by Rail to BayWay Refinery
Phillips has mobilized some crude oil railcars that were parked earlier this year when cheap imports eroded the profitability of moving domestic crude by rail, the president said. The company has pulled some railcars out of storage to haul Bakken crude to its New Jersey and Washington state refineries, company president Tim Taylor told Reuters. The company declined to say how many cars it took out of circulation or how many are back, but the move provides context to how quickly rail movements can be mobilized or halted depending on price discounts between inland and imported crude oil. 
September 9, 2015: Phillips Resumes Hauling North Dakota Bakken Crude by Rail to Ferndale Refinery
Phillips has mobilized some crude oil railcars that were parked earlier this year when cheap imports eroded the profitability of moving domestic crude by rail, the president said. The company has pulled some railcars out of storage to haul Bakken crude to its New Jersey and Washington state refineries, company president Tim Taylor told Reuters. The company declined to say how many cars it took out of circulation or how many are back, but the move provides context to how quickly rail movements can be mobilized or halted depending on price discounts between inland and imported crude oil. 
September 9, 2015: Contra Costa County Officials Say Warning System Worked 'As Designed' in August 2 Rodeo Refinery Fire
The San Jose Mercury News reported on September 9, 2015 that Contra Costa County officials appeared at a town hall meeting on September 7, 2015 and told the 50-strong audience at the Crockett Community Center that according to Randy Sawyer, the county's chief environmental health officer, the "system worked as designed for that level" of emergency. Two Phillips 66 communications officials were in attendance, but largely deferred to county officials.
But many in the audience were not buying official reassurances, complaining that residents, especially those with disabilities and people with asthma and other respiratory issues, should have been notified by phone or other means, and that officials were downplaying the seriousness of the incident. "Relying on Twitter and Facebook is useless. Going to a webpage is time-consuming," Crockett resident Margaret Faria said moments after the meeting concluded shortly before 9 p.m. "Receiving a phone call, text or email is the only way to inform the public. With the fire at Phillips 66, there was no notification. It appeared on their webpage later. By then, anyone with respiratory issues that is not aware (of the incident) would be at risk without knowing. The system should not rely on social media. We have many older citizens that do not use it."
September 8, 2015: San Luis Obispo County League of Women Voters Opposes Phillips 66 Oil Train Project
KCBX reported on September 8, 2015 that the non-partisan San Luis Obispo County League of Women Voters has taken a stand against the proposed Phillips 66 oil train project. The League says it shares the deep concerns of many in the community regarding safety issues surrounding this plan.
September 6, 2015: San Luis Obispo Tribune Editorializes that Routing Oil Trains Through Densely Populated California Towns is a Bad Idea
San Luis Obispo Tribune published an editorial on September 6, 2015 opposing the Phillips Santa Maria Oil Terminal and sying that routing oil trains through densely populated California communities – whether it’s San Jose or San Luis Obispo -- is a bad idea and that they cannot in good conscience support the Phillips 66 rail spur project. "This is not an over-reaction by tree-hugging, left-leaning, anti-business environmentalists. It’s an effort to keep families and communities out of harm’s way – a reasonable response, we believe, given what’s been happening in the oil industry," says the editorial. "We support the Santa Maria refinery and we hope it can remain in business for many years to come. But when it was built in the early 1930s, its mission was to process oil from the surrounding communities. Allowing it to morph into a receiving site for oil trains that originate from far away and pass through communities with millions of people is haphazard planning that defies logic."
September 5, 2015: Lompoc Record Editorializes in Support of Phillips Santa Maria Rail Terminal
The Lompoc Record published an editorial on September 5, 2015 supporting the Phillips Santa Maria Rail Terminal. According to the newspaper, the vote of the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors to send a letter to its counterpart board in San Luis Obispo County, urging denial of an application by Phillips 66 to expand a rail spur to transport oil to its refinery on the Nipomo Mesa elevates the not-in-my-backyard concept to a new level. "We have been following the opposition to the local oil industry for many years, and we have to admire the opponents’ willingness to stay the course. They have a cause, and they will pursue it until the last oil rig and refinery are gone from the Central Coast," writes the editorial board noting that the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery has been operated on the Nipomo Mesa for more than a half-century, without a major incident to compromise the local environment. "But that will not happen, as long as we use gasoline to fuel our vehicles, and oil to fire plants that produce electric power. Alternatives to a petroleum-based society are available, but we have yet to make the commitment necessary to wean ourselves from a long-standing dependence on oil."
September 4, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Belle Chasse Refinery
Phillips Reports Emissions at Belle Chasse Refinery on September 4, 2015.
September 3, 2015: Phillips Completing Temporary Replacement for Collapsed Cooling Tower at Wood River Refinery
Reuters reported on September 3, 2015 that Phillips plan to have a temporary coolng tower in place by September 3, 2015 which will allow them to run its Fluid Catalytic Crackers (FCC) at normal rates, according to a source ramiliar with operations at the refinery. A cooling tower collapsed on August 25 forcing one of the FCCs to be shut down and the other to be run at reduced rates.
September 2, 2015: Watch Group Urges Pismo Beach City Council to Oppose Oil Trains
The New Times reported on September 2, 2015 that Gary McKible of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group gave a short presentation to cPismo Beach ouncilmembers urging the council to oppose the Phillips Rail project, which would add a rail terminal and tracks to an existing rail spur at the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo, enabling Phillips 66 to transport crude oil there by train. The presentation was followed by a lengthy public comment, with about 20 individuals speaking on the rail spur issue. One of those, Marcus Beal, said he was in favor of the project. “Of course there’s a hazard, there’s always a hazard, but crude oil isn’t the most hazardous thing coming down the rail line,” Beal, a local Phillips 66 employee, said. He said there were far more hazardous materials than crude oil being transported by train and mentioned propane and butane as examples. “P 66 isn’t transporting the product,” Beal said. “The concern should be concentrated on the transportation industry, not Phillips 66.”
September 2, 2015: Milpitas Post Editorial Protests Phillips Plan to Run Crude Oil Trains Through South Bay
The Milpitas Post editorialized on September 2, 2015 that Milpitas officials need to quickly get up to speed on the dangers we face with the proposal to send up to five mile-long crude oil trains every week through the center of the community and the city council needs to wake up to the reality of the dangers of this plan. "Milpitas needs to join with protesters, which now include our county supervisors and the neighboring cities of Fremont, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro and more than 40 other entities. If San Luis Obispo authorities won't block this project, then attention might have to focus on Congress," says the newspaper. "What is needed at a minimum is a moratorium on shipping these kinds of trains through built-up areas at least until all of the obsolete cars can be replaced with safer models." According to the Milpitas Post another sensible alternative is to find a rail routing that bypasses urban areas. "Phillips 66, as a responsible company, should think seriously about withdrawing the plan."
September 1, 2015: Phillips to Restart FCCU at Bayway Refinery
Phillips reported it was going to restart the fluidized catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) at its Linden, New Jersey refinery, according to a filing with the National Response Center according to a report from Reuters on September 1, 2015.
August 31, 2015: Community Meets to Discuss Complains Over Lack of Community Notifaction After August 2 Fire at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on August 31, 2015 that there will be a public meeting on September 8, 2015 in Crockett, California to discuss complaints over a lack of community notification after the fire at Rodeo Refinery on August 2, 2015. Margaret Faria of the Crockett Improvement Association, which is organizing the community meeting, said she is not aware of any communication from the refinery during the incident or that its warning siren ever sounded. "I haven't found a single person who got a phone call or heard the siren go off," Faria added. Tony Semenza of the Community Awareness Emergency Response group will attend the meeting, the improvement association said in a news release, and representatives of Phillips 66 have been invited as well.
August 31, 2015: FCC Units Running at Reduced Rates Until Collapsed Cooling Tower Replaced
Reuters reported on Augusut 31, 2015 that Phillips 66 is running both its gaoline-making FCC units at reduced rates at the Wood River Refinery following collapse of a colling tower on August 25, 2015, according to sources familiar with operations at the refinery. The FCC units will continue to run at reduced rates until Phiilps finds a temporary replacement for the collapsed water tower.
August 30, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported flaring at Wilmington Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 30, 2015.
August 29, 2015: Phillips Reports Upset, SRU Emissions at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips Reports Upset, SRU Emissions at Ferndale Refinery 
August 28, 2015: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Opposes Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project
The Merucry News reported on August 28, 2015 that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors ounanimously adopted a resolution on August 24, 2015 opposing the Phillips 66 Co. Rail Spur Extension and Crude Oil Unloading Facility Project in San Luis Obispo County. "This would set a dangerous precedent for other oil companies to follow suit, and it poses an unacceptable risk to our community," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. "That is why today, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors joins over 40 other public agencies and elected officials throughout the state in expressing its strong opposition to the rail spur project."
"Our region is not lacking in access to crude oil, and there are already safer methods of transport already in use," said Supervisor Ken Yeager. "Moving such a volatile product by train through heavily populated areas is just too risky. Our public safety is more important than corporate profits."
August 28, 2015: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Considers Urging Planning Commission to Deny Application for Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project
The Lompco Record reported on August 28, 2015 that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will consider staff's recommendation to send a letter to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, urging members to deny the Phillips 66 Co.'s application for the rail spur extension project. According to a staff report, approval of the project would present health risks to Santa Barbara County residents and the environment, as it would result in five additional oil trains per week traveling through the county's coastal rail line. The report also says that the risks of transporting crude oils include explosion, derailment, air pollution, toxic emissions, fires and spills. So far 20,000 public comments have been made on the Environmental Impact Report for the project, and 40 of those comments have come from cities and local governmental entities. Many local governments such as Ventura County, the cities of Moorpark, Oxnard, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta and San Luis Obispo have formally voted to oppose the project.
However, 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said that he wasn't sure it was the board's responsibility to tell another county what to do. "We have enough things on our plate that we have jurisdiction over without going to other counties," Lavagnino said. "I don't think I've ever seen another county send us a letter telling us how to vote."
August 28, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Regenerator Malfunction at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips Reports FCCU Regenerator Malfunction at Ponca City Refinery 
August 28, 2015: Phillips Shuts Down 150,000 bpd Fluid Catalytic Cracker at Bayway Refinery After Leak
Genscape reported on August 28, 2015 that Phillips unexpectedly shut down a 150,000 bpd Fluid Catalytic Cracker at Bayway Refinery due to a leak accordinng to someone familiar with operations at the refinery. Genscape reported that operations at Bayway Refinery remained normal at 953 am on August 28, 2015 but a source said this was because the unit was coming down at the time and flaring would occur shortly. Officials at Bayway Refinery are still assessing the problem and a restart time is currently unavailable. Phillips did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
August 28, 2015: Gasoline Unit Restarted after Cooling Tower Collapse at Wood River Refinery
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on August 28, 2015 that a 42,000 bpd fluid catalytic cracking unit was restarted on August 28, 2015 after the collapse of a cooling tower at Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery put the unit our of service on August 24, 2015. The restart of a gasoline-making unit was underway on the morning of August 28, 2015 after previous attempts to bring the unit online were unsuccessful because of technical glitches said a source familiar with plant operations. The other FCCU unit remained at reduced rates, the source added.
August 28, 2015: Phillips Shuts FCCU Due to Leak at Bayway Refinery
Phillips unexpectedly shut down a 150,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) at its Bayway refinery in New Jersey on Friday, the second gasoline-making unit on the East Coast to experience an unexpected outage at a time of high demand at U.S. gas pumps. PBF Energy Inc was forced to shut a 65,000 b/d catalytic cracker a week ago at its 182,000 b/d Delaware City, Delaware, refinery for up to a month due to a compressor fire. Together, the two units account for roughly 40 percent of the overall catalytic cracking capacity on the East Coast, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The FCCU at Bayway was shut down on Friday morning after workers discovered a leak, the source said, adding that it was not known how long the outage would last. U.S. production of finished gasoline fell nearly 500,000 b/d last week after hitting a record high 10.3 million b/d the week before, according to the EIA data, reflecting impacts from a series of refinery outages according to report from Reuters on August 28, 2015.
August 26, 2015: Cooling Tower Collapses at Wood River Refinery Shutting Down 42,000 bpd FCCU
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on August 25, 2015 that a cooling tower at Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery collapsed on August 24, 2015, forcing the plant to shut a 42,000 bpd fluid catalytic cracking unit, or FCCU and run a second one at reduced rates, said a source familiar with plant operations. Workers at the refinery may try to restart the FCCU, within the next 48 hours, the source said. The refinery has two such units with capacity of 42,000 and 48,000 bpd, according to IIR Energy data on Eikon. It was not clear which unit was affected. “The Wood River Refinery had an operational upset resulting from a loss of cooling from an upset cooling water tower,” said Phillips 66 spokeswoman Melissa Erker in an emailed statement. “There were no injuries to employees or offsite impacts," adding that the company was “working to resupply cooling water to the impacted units using redundant cooling water supply from other towers.”
August 25, 2015: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Opposes Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Expansion
CBS San Fransisco reported on August 25, 2015 that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution on August 25, 2015 against Phillip 66's Santa Maria Rail Expansion Project that would bring trains carrying oil through the county. The proposed route would reach Milpitas and downtown San Jose, then run parallel with U.S. Highway 101 through Gilroy and Morgan Hill, according to Supervisor Cindy Chavez. Supervisor Ken Yeager said the project is “very unsafe” for an urban area like Santa Clara County, which has nearly 2 million residents. Chavez said one of the affected communities would be San Jose’s Japantown, which received a commendation celebrating their 125th anniversary during Tuesday’s board meeting. The county joins 40 other public agencies and elected officials across the state in opposing the project, according to Chavez.
August 21, 2015: Phillips Reports Valve Leak on Process Unit at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported a pinhole leak on a process unit valve at its Sweeny, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the National Response Center and reported by Reuters on August 24, 2015.
August 18, 2015: Phillips Shuts Hydrocracker at Wood River Refinery
Phillips shut a 38,000 b/d hydrocracker at its Wood River refinery in Illinois on Tuesday due to a compressor trip, a source familiar with refinery operations said Wednesday. The company reported that an unidentified unit tripped offline Tuesday, according to a filing with Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The Ozark pipeline, which carries crude oil to the refinery from Cushing, Oklahoma, briefly saw decreased flows on Tuesday, according to energy industry intelligence service Genscape as reported by Reuters on August 19, 2015.
August 17, 2015: Phillips Reports Relief Valve Leak at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a relief valve leak at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 17, 2015.
August 17, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 17, 2015.
August 11, 2015: Laurance Shinderman and Tom Ryan write: Phillips' Rail Spur Impacts Outweigh any Benefits
Laurance Shinderman and Tom Ryan wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on August 11, 2015 that what is called a benign rail spur at Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery is in fact a huge rail yard containing five long railroad tracks fanning out to accommodate and off load 80 tanker/ mile long crude oil trains that would be coming into the refinery five days a week that create eleven class one impacts that could not be mitigated, including five directly related to air pollution. According to Shinderman and Ryan, Phillips Is minimizing the enormous scope of what they intend to bring to SLO County. "Each arriving tanker would hold 27,000 gallons of volatile tar sands crude. That comes to 562,000,000 gallons … more than one-half billion gallons per year that can literally obliterate a city should there be a derailment and explosion. Tar-sands would be coming down the tracks…it’s not the same crude that P66 now refines. Its from the Alberta tar sands region. It’s highly volatile and as dangerous as Bakken," write Shinderman and Ryan. "This is a project that benefits the singular interests of one large multinational company, Phillips 66, the sixth largest company on the Fortune 500, while putting at risk the health, safety and financial well being of thousands of residents along the UPRR mainline. What are more important, higher profits for Phillips 66 shareholders, or the health and safety of you and your family? Make your voices heard."
August 11, 2015: Phillips to Keep Powerformer Shut for ‘Couple Weeks’ at Bayway Refinery
Phillips will keep a powerformer shut at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey as it fixes a leak that was discovered on Friday, according to a person who is familiar with the plant’s operations. The powerformer unit was shut on Friday after the leak was discovered. The unit is expected to be shut for a couple weeks while the leak is fixed. There is no impact to other units at the refinery, the source said according to a report from Reuters on August 11, 2015.
August 11, 2015: Phillips Says Normal Operations Resumed at Borger Refinery
Phillips said normal operations have resumed at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 11, 2015.
August 11, 2015: Phillips Fixes Compressor at Wood River Refinery
Phillips resolved a problem with a compressor at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois and the facility was running normally, according to a person familiar with the refinery’s operations. Workers were preparing to shut a 120,000 b/d crude unit for up to five weeks in early September according to a report from Reuters on August 11, 2015.
August 7, 2015: Phillips Shuts Powerformer at Bayway Refinery
According to a source, Phillips shut a powerformer unit Friday at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The 28,000 b/d unit was shut after a leak was discovered and officials were assessing damage, the source said according to a report from Reuters on August 7, 2015.
August 5, 2015: Charles Varni Writes 'Civil Rights in the Blast Zone'
Charles Varni, the South SLO County coordinator for the Stop Phillips 66 Project, wrote in op-ed in the Santa Maria Sun on August 5, 2015 that the US Department of Transportation has formally designated a “blast and evacuation zone” of 1 mile running parallel to the train tracks leading to the Phillips 66 oil train terminal at the Santa Maria Refinery in case of an oil train derailment (six so far this year in the U.S. with five of them exploding). According to Varnia 30 percent of the population of SLO County and 40-plus public and private schools are in this blast zone and in some communities it is much more (Paso Robles, 45 percent; San Luis Obispo, 71 percent; Grover Beach, 78 percent; Oceano, 88 percent). "There’s no significant benefit to us; just a lot of huge risks and, for sure, negative health consequences (not to mention huge economic and environmental risks)," writes Varni. "This is a civil and human rights issue—the right to know that something of this magnitude and impact is planned for your neighborhood should not be the responsibility of citizen volunteers. This is a fundamental responsibility of government—to inform us of significant risks to life and property so we can be part of the decision-making process if we so choose."
August 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger, Texas Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 3, 2015.
August 2, 2015: Fire Extinguished at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on August 2, 2015 that a small fire on August 2, 2015 at Phillips Rodeo Refinery spurred the county health department to issue a public health advisory for the towns of Rodeo and Crockett. The Contra Costa County incident warning system issued an alert just before 3:15 p.m. that staff concerned with hazardous materials were responding to a report of a fire at the refinery. County officials advise people with respiratory sensitivities to avoid the area or stay inside and rinse any irritated area with water but added that most people should not be affected. No injuries were reported, and the fire's cause is under investigation.
August 2, 2015: Phillips Identifies Coker Unit as Source of Fire at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips has identied a coker unit as the source of a fire at Rodeo Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 11, 2015.
July 31, 2015: Phillips Restarting Units at Lake Charles Refinery after Power Loss
Phillips said its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana, experienced multiple unspecified unit upsets due to a partial power loss on Friday afternoon. The company said power was in the process of being restored and the affected units brought back on line. Industry intelligence firm Genscape earlier reported the shutdown of a crude distillation unit, the smallest of the three at the plant, and a vacuum distillation unit at the refinery according to reports from Reuters on July 31, 2015.
July 29, 2015: Santa Barbara City Council Votes Against Phillips Oil Train
The Santa Barbara Independent reported on July 29, 2015 that the Santa Barbara City Council voted 5-2 to write a letter urging that San Luis Obispo reject an application by Phillips 66 to expand the railroad spur at its Santa Maria Refinery. "Critics of the proposed oil train packed the council chambers, recounting the horrors that happened in North Dakota, West Virginia, and Quebec, when similarly laden trains jumped the tracks there," wrote Nick Welsh. "Displaying a map showing the “blast zone” along both sides of the railroad tracks, speaker after speaker itemized the defining structures and urban landmarks that could be affected: 16 schools, one fire station, Chase Palm Park, Stearns Wharf, City Hall, and the Funk Zone." Opposing the anti-oil train letter were councilmembers Frank Hotchkiss and Dale Francisco. “I wish you didn’t have the great fear that you do,” said Hotchkiss to those assembled, “but you do.” Santa Barbara joins a list of 40 cities and other governmental entities along the coast in opposing the oil train rail spur.
July 27, 2015: Phillips Resumes Normal Operations at Alliance Refinery After Unscheduled Outage
Phillips said it resumed normal operations at its Alliance refinery in Belle Chase, Louisiana after a brief, unscheduled outage impacted several units on July 23. The company began restarting the units Friday according to a report from Reuters on July 27, 2015.
July 24, 2015: Ferndale Refinery Gets New 199-foot-tall Safety Flare System
The Bellingham Herald reported on July 24, 2015 that Phillips 66 recently completed construction of a 199-foot-tall safety flare system that will improve energy efficiency as well as lessen the impact on the environment. “While the elevated flare will be more visible during the occasional flaring event, the public can be assured the new system will be safer, more efficient and better for the environment,” said Jeff Callender, communications manager at Phillips 66. The old system uses a ground-level safety flare system that’s been around in some form for decades. The new system uses steam to promote combustion efficiency, minimizing the smoke during a flare operation. The new system will reduce the number of natural gas pilot lights from 60 to four, reducing energy output. “This new system burns everything efficiently, and that’s a good thing,” said Katie Skipper of the Northwest Clean Air Agency. “It is definitely an upgrade.”
July 23, 2015: Phillips Restarting Units at Alliance Refinery after Brief Outage
Phillips on Friday said it was in the process of restarting units impacted by a brief, unscheduled outage that, on Thursday, shut parts of its Alliance refinery in Belle Chase, Louisiana. The company said the cause of the outage was being investigated by the local utility provider according to reports from Reuters on July 24, 2015.
July 17, 2015: Phillips Reports Upset at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported an upset at Ponca City Refinery on July 17, 2015 according to a report from Reuters on July 22, 2015.
July 17, 2015: Phillips Says Borger Refinery Running at Reduced Rates
Phillips says unscheduled maintenance at the Borger, Texas refinery was causing fuel production from the refinery to be less than normal during ordinary operations according to a report from Reuters on July 20, 2015.
July 17, 2015: Phillips Shuts Hydrotreater Due to Leak at Bayway Refinery
According to a source, Phillips shut a 58,000 b/d hydrotreater associated with its fluid catalytic cracker Friday at its Linden, New Jersey refinery after a leak was discovered, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The leak was first discovered Thursday but the unit was not shut down until Friday, the source said according to a report from Reuters on July 17, 2015.
July 16, 2015: Phillips Reports Unscheduled Maintenance at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported unscheduled maintenance at Borger Refinery and that the refinery was running at less than normal production according to a report from Reuters on July 17, 2015.
July 15, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring at Wilmington Refinery according to a report from Reuters on July 15, 2015.
July 15, 2015: PHMSA Issues Mandatory Shutdown, Repair of Plains All American Capwood Pipeline to Wood River Refinery Following Leak
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a corrective action order late on July 14 to Plains All American Pipeline (PAA) related to the Pocahontas pumping station leak, which is one of several such stations along the Capwood Pipeline and 20-inch diameter Patoka to Wood River, Illinois line. Both lines are currently out of service, the order states. The order requires the operator to investigate the incident, make repairs and report back to PHMSA before resuming operations at the line, which feeds Phillips 66’s 336,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois refinery. Sources say the refinery’s operations have been unaffected by the incident, as it can receive crude supplies via a variety of other means, including other pipelines. PAA on Tuesday said there is no estimated timeline for restart.
July 15, 2015: Residents Near Old Oak Park Road in San Luis Obispo County Raise Concerns over New Phillips Pipeline
Chris McGuiness wrote in the New Times on July 15, 2015 that residents along a road in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County are concerned about the construction of an underground oil pipeline as they have watched as construction and digging equipment was staged for the project along the road but are probably too late to stop it. The project is a planned 5.6-mile oil pipeline that will run from the Freeport-McMoran oil operation in Price Canyon to an existing pipeline in Arroyo Grande, which connects to the Santa Maria oil refinery on the Nipomo Mesa. The pipeline will allow Phillips 66 to transport between 1,500 and 10,000 barrels of oil per day at a pressure of 700 to 1,480 pounds per square inch to the refinery, resulting in potentially 18 fewer trips per day for oil tanker trucks along SLO County roads.
The fact that nearly 4 miles of that pipeline would run down the sections of Old Oak Park Road came as a shock to Diane Mead. “At first we thought maybe they were putting in a bike lane,” Mead, who bought property in the area in 2013, said. “Then we starting seeing the trucks come and the pipe come in. We were all very surprised.” Mead said several residents on the street were worried about the pipeline, particularly in the wake of a 100,000-gallon oil spill in Santa Barbara County in May, which was caused by a ruptured pipeline. “It’s definitely on people’s minds here,” said Bruce Actis, who’s lived on Old Oak Park Road since 1979. “We are all on wells for our water out here, so if there is a spill and it contaminates our groundwater, I don’t know what we are going to do.”
Actis and other concerned residents who contacted New Times claim they weren’t informed about the project and didn’t have an opportunity to tell the county about their concerns. According to information from the SLO County Planning and Building Department, a minor use permit for the project was approved at a county planning hearing Nov. 7, 2014. The project didn’t go before the county’s full planning commission, but was approved by a single hearing officer as part of a consent agenda. Robert Fitzroy, an environmental resource specialist and the project’s manager for the county, said the process was standard for projects requiring a minor use permit. He also said that the county informed all residents living within 300 feet of the proposed pipeline prior to the meeting by mail and with a notice in a local daily newspaper, as per the county’s ordinances. Fitzroy said anyone could have called for a project hearing prior to its approval and also could have appealed the approval to the county Board of Supervisors within a 14-day window after the approval. At least six individuals who lived on the road contacted New Times and said they did not recall getting a notice about the project from the county. Roger Bunch, and Old Oak Road resident since 1971, said he didn’t remember receiving any notice and would have liked a chance to ask questions about the project. “I just feel like they did this real quietly,” he said. “I think we would have just liked to ask a few questions about it. But it would have probably passed anyway.”
July 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Exchanger Shut after Leak at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips on Tuesday shut down the exchanger on a unit after a hydrogen sulfide spill at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa County Health Services.
July 13, 2015: Whatcom County Environmentalists want to Monitor Phillips and BP Oil Trains into Ferndale Refinery and Cherry Point Refinery
Samantha Wohlfeil reported in the Bellingham Herald on July 13, 2015 that Whatcom County environmentalists want to step in as watchdogs and keep tabs on the trains rolling through their backyards to Phillips Fernade Refinery and BP's Cherry Point Refinery. RE Sources for Sustainable Communities staff members have asked people who are interested in environmental activism if they own property near the tracks, and if they’d be willing to host a camera there to document train movements. All the details of the project are not hammered out yet, but the basic premise is to gather proof of oil trains coming and going through Whatcom County and double check it against reports required at the state and federal level, said Matt Petryni, clean energy program manager at RE Sources.
Through a new state law, facilities that receive crude oil by train — e.g. BP Cherry Point and Phillips 66 Ferndale refineries — need to give the state Department of Ecology advance notice before oil is transferred there. Those facilities already were required to give that notice for marine transfers. BP Cherry Point is permitted to receive an average of one train loaded with crude oil per day, and Phillips 66 can get one every other day. Currently, some people on Twitter use the hashtag #WAoiltrainwatch to document when they see an oil train rolling through various parts of the state, but many haven’t included photos, and days can pass between tweets. “It’s not a solid record in the way we would want it,” Petryni said. “We want to know if (the refineries) are exceeding their limit. I don’t think they are, but it would be an added watchdog means of enforcement of their limits.”
July 11, 2015: Protest Letters Come in from 40 Public Agencies or Elected Officials Opposing Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project
Cynthia Lambert reported in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on July 11, 2015 that more than 40 public agencies or elected officials in California — cities, school districts, teachers unions and three state senators — have penned letters or passed resolutions against Phillips 66 Co.’s plan to upgrade its refinery so it can receive train car crude oil deliveries. The county received thousands of comments on draft environmental reports for the project before the comment period ended Nov. 24. Since then, the county has received dozens more letters and emails. Local opponents, led by the grassroots Mesa Refinery Watch Group, have organized protest rallies, attended numerous council meetings and sent a steady flow of updates about rail accidents to elected officials statewide. “We keep the pot simmering,” said Nipomo resident Laurance Shinderman, a member of the group’s steering committee.
When asked why many local communities near Santa Maria haven’t taken a position while agencies elsewhere in the state have done so, Shinderman offered a theory: “This is the home-court advantage of Phillips 66. Guys belong to Rotary clubs and associations and spread the money around and have tight relationships.”
July 11, 2015: Dozens Rally in San Luis Obispo to Oppose Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project
Amanda Starrantino reported at KSBY on July 11, 2015 that dozens of people gathered in San Luis Obispo to rally against the Phillips 66 Rail Project. "We have a unique power to stop this not just for ourselves but for thousands and millions of people across the United States these trains are coming from Alberta, Canada,” says Charles Varni, a local resident who opposes the project.
July 11, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions, FCCU Start-up at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported emissions due to startup of fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCU) 29 and 40 at its Borger, Texas, refinery, on Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The filing said the units were scheduled to start up in the next couple of days according to a report from Reuters on July 12, 2015.
July 10, 2015: Ventura Groups Plan Protest Against Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project
The Ventura County Star reported on July 10, 2015 that local activist groups are planning a protest in Ventura on July 11 against construction of a rail spur that would lead to more oil trains traveling through the county to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery. The demonstration is set to start at 5 p.m. Saturday, with protesters meeting at California and Santa Clara streets before marching to the Amtrak station on Harbor Boulevard.
July 10, 2015: Phillips Assessing Operations Impact on Woods River Refinery after PAA’s Capwood Pipeline Shuts Flow After Booster Station Leak
Phillips said it was assessing the impact on operations at its Wood River refinery as a result of Plains All American’s (PAA’s) 277,000 b/d Capwood pipeline shutdown. Phillips said at this time it did not anticipate any impacts at the refinery. The Capwood pipeline runs from Patoka, Illinois, to Wood River, Illinois according to a report from Reuters on July 13, 2015.
July 7, 2015: July 11 Rally Planned in San Jose to Prevent Oil Trains Going to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery
Leeta-Rose Ballester reported in the San Jose Mercury News on July 7, 2015 that a group of South Bay residents will hold a rally on July 11 at 3 pm at Diridon Station to "rail against a project that could send oil-laden trains from the Phillips 66 refinery in Santa Maria rumbling through San Jose neighborhoods." "There is a plan to have oil trains coursing through San Jose--almost one a day," said Steve Eittreim, a member of the environmental group 350 Silicon Valley. "We're hoping if Phillips becomes aware that there is more opposition that they'll just drop it. They're trying to make the rails safer but I don't trust it. Accidents happen." The Phillips 66 proposal calls for as many as five oil trains a week traveling the lines, carrying approximately 2.2 million gallons of crude oil a year, according to a recirculated draft environmental impact report for the project. "Daily mile-long crude oil trains carrying toxic tar sands oil would pass within blocks of neighborhood schools, spewing chemicals over recreation areas where children play," said Kathy Pimentel. "If a train derailed crossing the Los Gatos Creek, a spill could permanently contaminate a waterway that scores of volunteers have worked so hard to clean up."
July 6, 2015: Phillips Resumes Full Operations at Wood River Refinery after Power Loss July 1
According to a source, Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois refinery resumed full operations Monday following a brief outage caused by a loss of power, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. The plant lost power in at least one unit Wednesday, the company said last week, resulting in reduced capacity of about 60,000 b/d. Energy industry intelligence service Genscape reported Sunday that the 64,000 b/d crude unit and a 30,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit were restarted. On Monday morning, Genscape reported that a 16,000 b/d coker had also restarted according to a report from Reuters on July 6, 2015.
July 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Startup, FCCU Emissions at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported the startup and FCCU emissions at Ponca City refinery according to reports from Reuters on July 8, 2015.
July 1, 2015: Phillips Reports Wood River Refinery Continues to Operate after Power Loss
Phillips reported that Wood River Refinery continued to operate after a power loss. The refinery reported the loss of power was due to outside electrical problems according to a report from Reuters on July 2, 2015 .
July 1, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported FCCU Emissions at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on July 1, 2015.
June 26, 2015: Native American Environmental Activists Make 12 Mile Healing Walk to Rodeo Refinery
Rucha Chitnis reported at TruthOut on June 20, 2015 that Native American environmental activists made a 12 mile "Healing Walk" to Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery to draw increased attention to the high rates of asthma, cancer and environmental racism experienced by neighbors of the five large oil refineries in the northeast San Francisco Bay area. "I have lived in Richmond in the shadow of the Chevron refinery for many decades now, raising my children in this refinery town," said Alison Ehara-Brown, one of the organizers of the Refinery Corridor Healing Walks. "When our children have high asthma rates, when our family members are getting cancer and collapsed lungs at an early age … then we know that we are living in a culture that needs healing."
There are four healing walks organized this year by Native American environmental advocates; these walks traverse refineries lining the East Bay, crude-by-rail tracks, neighborhoods, bridges and the bay. The third healing walk, organized June 20 began from Benicia and ended in the city of Rodeo, which is home to a Phillips 66 refinery, the first major oil refinery in the Bay Area. The Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of the refinery, alarming environmental advocates. The refinery sits on an earthquake liquefaction zone, and local residents are worried that the expansion plans could exacerbate air pollution and public safety. "Why should any community be a sacrifice zone for the fossil fuel industry? Would those making these types of decisions allow their families to live in these sacrifice zones? If not, then no one should live in them," concluded Opal Plant. The final healing walk for 2015 is on Sunday, July 19, from Rodeo's Conoco Phillips 66 Refinery to Richmond, which is home to Chevron Refinery.
June 24, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring at Wilmington Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 24, 2015.
June 19, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset and Release of Hydrogen Sulfide at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a release of hydrogen sulfide from a stack due to a process upset on June 19, 2015 according to a report from Reuters on June 22, 2015.
June 19, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Problems at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported process problems at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 19, 2015.
June 19, 2015: California Nurses and Teachers Oppose Phillip 66 Oil Train Project
IndyBay reported on June 19, 2015 that the 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers voted to oppose the Phillips 66 oil train project. “Educators are very concerned about dangerous oil trains running past California schools. Hundreds of California schools are located near current and future oil train routes,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “Educators and parents can help stop these Phillips 66 oil trains by encouraging local officials in San Luis Obispo County to put student and community safety first and not issue Phillips 66 a permit for their oil train project.” The 85,000-member California Nurses Association is pleased to join forces with the teaching profession in California on this important health and safety issue. “Nurses are thrilled to know that teachers also are strongly opposed to the Phillips 66 oil train project. The Phillip 66 oil trains present significant and unacceptable risks to the health and safety of our communities throughout California and beyond, due to toxic emissions and the potential for a catastrophic derailment, spill, explosion and fire,” stated Amber Wiehl, RN at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.
June 18, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset, Equipment Restart at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset and an equipment restart at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 18, 2015.
June 13, 2015: Phillips Reports Outage at Borger Refinery Due to Storm
Phillips reported an outage at Borger Refinery due to a storm according to a report from Reuters on June 15, 2015.
June 10, 2015: Goleta City Council Votes To Send Letter About Santa Maria Oil Rail Concerns
KEYT reported on June 10, 2015 that the Goleta City Council voted to send a letter to San Luis Obispo supervisors sharing community concerns about the proposed Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project. The council heard from residents concerned about health, safety and the environment before voting. Three council members voted to send the letter, one voted no and another abstained.
June 9, 2015: Lucia Mar Teachers Union to Urge Denial of Santa Maria Rail Project
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on June 9, 2015 that the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association has voted to urge San Luis Obispo County planners to deny a proposed rail project at a Nipomo Mesa refinery. “As educators and advocates for the students of south San Luis Obispo County, we are particularly concerned with the risks this project would pose to Lucia Mar schools and student populations along the rail line,” said Donna Kandel, president of the teacher’s association, wrote to planning commissioners. “Seven Lucia Mar schools — Lopez High School, Mesa and Judkins Middle Schools, and Fairgrove, Grover Beach, Grover Heights, and Oceano Elementary Schools — along with 22 other schools in San Luis Obispo County, are within a mile of the ‘blast zone’ and could suffer catastrophic consequences in the event of a derailment."
June 8, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset at Wood River Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 8, 2015.
June 4, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at Borger Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 4, 2015.
June 4, 2015: Phillips Says Its Crude Oil Pipeline Near Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips said a crude oil pipeline that supplies its 120,000 b/d Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, was fixed after a small leak and restarted on Thursday. The company shut the line after about a barrel of crude leaked on Tuesday. The cause of the leak was under investigation, Phillips said.
June 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Small Pipeline Leak in California Near Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips reported an underground pipeline near Santa Maria, California leaked less than a barrel of crude oil before it was shut down on Tuesday. The company said cleanup and repair crews were working around the clock. The pipeline runs crude from oil fields in the Orcutt area to the company’s 44,000 b/d refinery in Arroyo Grande.
June 3, 2015: Residents of San Luis Obispo Protest Cuesta College Letters Supporting Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Project
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on June 3, 2015 that several community members called on the college board of Cuesta College to rescind letters of support written on offical college stationary by President Gil Stork and Athletic Director Robert Mariucci in support of a Phillips 66's proposal to move crude oil by rail to the Santa Maria Refinery. In their letters, Stork and Mariucci both note longtime support from Phillips 66 for college programs, including financial support of the women's basketball tournament for many years.
Project opponents argued that Stork and Mariucci should not have penned their support on college letterhead. Several people asked the Cuesta College Board of Trustees to oppose the project. "We urge the board to do the right thing and repudiate this letter and lend its name to the towns that have said no to this dangerous project," Nipomo resident Laurance Shinderman said. Stork told the board that he erred in using official letterhead but did not intend to retract the letter unless directed by the board to do so. "It is my opinion," Stork said. "Just because I don't have the same persuasion as the speakers here tonight doesn't make it wrong."
June 3, 2015: Phillips 66 Cleans Up Oil Spill Near Santa Maria
KETY reported on June 3, 2015 that an underground pipeline in front of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department Foster Road Station on California Boulevard belonging to Phillips 66 leaked what is estimated to be less than a barrel of crude oil, or about 40 gallons, leaked from the broken pipe before it was shutdown. "It was identified by a passerby who notified us", says Phillips 66 spokesperson Janet Grothe, "our control room immediately shut down the feed to the pipeline." Cleanup and repair crews have since been working around the clock. Phillips has not yet revealed how old the pipeline is or when it was last inspected for corrosion. Phillips 66 has had few major spills to speak of since it began operating in the area some 60 years ago. "We have a highly sophisticated control center and we’re able to control our pipelines remotely", Grothe says, "we take great pride in operating our facilities to high standards, we continuously test and monitor the pipelines and ensure that they are safe to operate."
June 2, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at Borger refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 2, 2015.
May 31, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported emissions at Lake Charles Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 1, 2015.
May 29, 2015: Phillips Reports Equipment Issues at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, faced equipment issues on Friday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing said. The company had last week said that planned work was underway at the refinery.
May 27, 2015: Storms Damage Gasoline Tank at Sweeny Refinery
Nasdaq reported on May 27, 2015 that the roof of a tank at one of its product terminals at Sweeny refinery was damaged Wednesday by heavy storms that have been lashing Texas in recent days. "The gasoline is being drawn down to minimum level and all liquids pumped-off the tank roof," Phillips 66 said in a filing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The tank had an external floating roof, which floated on the surface of the gasoline.
May 27, 2015: Phillips Reports Boiler Shutdown at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported a boiler shutdown at Ferndale Refinery according to a report from Reuters on June 2, 2015.
May 19, 2015: No Injuries After Flare at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on May 19, 2015 that no one was injured when a processing unit at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo flared late on May 18, 2015, producing a bright flare in Contra Costa County. The refinery remained operational Tuesday, and Phillips 66 officials said they would conduct an investigation to determine what caused the flare. As of mid-Tuesday morning, the flare was still going as the refinery continued to burn off excess material, officials said, but it was less visible in daylight. After the flare, Contra Costa County issued a Level 1 community warning for the incident, the lowest possible alert level. While oil company officials say flaring is a normal part of refinery operations and happens less frequently than it did decades ago, large flares continue to draw attention.
May 19, 2015: Phillips Says Santa Maria Refinery Running at Reduced Rates Due to Plains All American Pipeline Spill
Phillips said its Santa Maria, California refinery was operating at reduced rates because of a pipeline supply disruption from the Plains All American Pipeline crude oil spill in Santa Barbara County on May 19. Plains All American Pipeline said it does not expect to restart the pipeline in June. Phillips on Friday said it has returned to service a separate crude oil pipeline that supplies its Santa Maria refinery after a small leak on Tuesday. The Santa Maria refinery does initial processing of heavy crude, and then ships liquids via pipeline to the company’s 120,200 b/d Rodeeo, California refinery for further processing into finished products.
May 19, 2015: Phillips Says Rodeo Refinery Continues to Operate after Malfunction
May 18 Phillips said its Rodeo, California refinery was operating following an unspecified process interruption late on May 18, 2015. The company said an investigation will be conducted to determine the exact cause according to a report from Reuters on May 19, 2015.
May 18, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported an unplanned shutdown at Rodeo Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 21, 2015.
May 18, 2015: Phillips Continues Restarting Lake Charles Refinery after Brief Power Loss
Phillips continued restarting the Lake Charles Refinery after a brief power loss according to a report from Reuters on May 18, 2015.
May 15, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions, Flaring at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported emissions and falring at Lake Charles Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 19, 2015.
May 15, 2015: Phillips Brings Units Back Online after Power Loss at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips brought units back online after a power loss at Lake Charles Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 15, 2015.
May 14, 2015: Nurses, Parents, and Teachers to Rally in Opposition to Phillips Oil Train
Indybay reported on May 14, 2015 that registered nurses will join with parents and students for three days of events opposing the Phillips 66 Oil Train Project, which starts this Thursday by urging the Templeton School Board to oppose the controversial Phillips 66 proposal to add five additional rail shipments a week of dirty tar sands crude oil through the center of San Luis Obispo County to Phillips’ Santa Maria refinery. “It is only by chance that an oil train derailment has not yet occurred in the heart of a major city, causing a major inferno, or on the bank of a river, spreading thousands of gallons of tar sands crude oil through a watershed, doing permanent damage,” said Andrew Christie, Director of the local chapter of the Sierra Club. Adding five trains per week if the Phillips 66 project is approved, substantially increases the risk of a catastrophic oil train accident for those hospitals, schools and homes in the one-mile “blast zone” on either side of the tracks. Rail accidents involving tar sands crude have become increasingly common in the U.S. and Canada.
May 12, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported an upset at Wood River Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 12, 2015.
May 11, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring Due to Loss of Pump at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported flaring due to the loss of a pump at Wood River Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 11, 2015.
May 11, 2015: Phillips Says Restart of Alliance Refinery Completed
Phillips 66 reported that the restart of the Alliance Refinery was complete after the power outage that occurred on May 8. after Power Outage May 8 according to a report from Reuters on May 11, 2015.
May 8, 2015: California Fines Phillips and ConocoPhillips $11.5 Milion for Waste Violations
The San Fransisco Chronicle reported on May 8, 2015 that Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips have agreed to pay the fine as part of a settlement of the violations, according to the final judgment filed Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court. The companies were accused of allowing 560 of their service stations in 34 counties to improperly operate and maintain underground gasoline storage tanks, endangering nearby water supplies. The violators included the 150 stations in the Bay Area, including 16 in San Francisco, authorities said. “This settlement holds Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips accountable for this dangerous negligence and will ensure future compliance with environmental laws,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris. The complaint, filed in January of 2013, claims that the two affiliates failed to properly train employees and have not adequately maintained leak detection devices, tested secondary containment systems, conducted monthly inspections or maintained operational alarm systems since 2006.
May 8, 2015: Phillips 66’s Alliance Refinery Shut after Power Outage
Phillips 66’s Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, had another unscheduled shutdown overnight due to a power outage, but the event only lasted for approximately 20 minutes, the company said on Friday. There were no injuries reported and data indicated no impact offsite, the company said. On Friday morning, there were no power outages in the area reported by power provider Entergy Corp. The plant has now experienced two unplanned shutdowns due to power outages since April 27 according to a report from Reuters on May 8, 2015.
May 1, 2015: Phillips Reports Flare Gas Recovery Compressor Shut at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported on May 1, 2015 that a Flare Gas Recovery Compressor was shut down at Wood River Refinery according to a Reuters report on May 1, 2015.
April 30, 2015: Phillips Says Alliance Refinery Still in Process of Restarting
Phillips said on April 30, 2015 that it was still in the process of restarting Alliance Refinery after a brief power upset on April 27, 2015. A previous attempt was made to restart on April 28, 2015.
April 28, 2015: Phillips Restarting Its Alliance Refinery after Brief Power Loss
Phillips said it was in the process of restarting its Alliance, Louisiana, refinery on Tuesday following a brief loss of power during strong thunderstorms on Monday according to Reuters on April 28, 2015.
April 27, 2015: Small Fire at Alliance Refinery
WDSU reported on April 27, 2015 that there had been a small fire at Alliance Refinery due to power outages. No one was injured in the fire.
April 27, 2015: Phillips Restarts SRU Incinerator at Borger Refinery
Phillips restarted the sulfur recovery unit (SRU) incinerator after it tripped on low burner pressure at its Borger, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on April 27, 2015.
April 26, 2015: Phillips Reports Unknown Chemical Release, Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an unknown chemcial release at Borger Refinery as reported on Reuters on April 27, 2015.
April 26, 2015: Phillips Reports Units Online after Power Outage at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported the restart of multiple units at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery after they were shut Saturday due to a power outage caused by a severe thunderstorm in the area, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The filing added that charge was also reduced to certain units before they were brought back online. The filing listed a sulfur recovery unit, crude units, fluid catalytic cracking regenerator, and a hydrotreater as sources of emissions due to the to the incident reported by Reuters on April 26, 2015.
April 25, 2015: Phillips' Upgrades Almost Completed on Pipelines from Billing Refinery under the East Gallatin River
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported on April 25, 2015 that Phillips 66 has almost completed upgrades to crossings under the East Gallatin River which were begun after a 2011 rupture on an ExxonMobil pipeline spilled an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River near Billings. The upgrades involve replacing shallow, trenched crossings dug into the bottom the river with deeper crossings drilled beneath rivers at a depth of 30 to 40 feet which reduces the likelihood that erosion during high-flow periods will wash away the material covering pipes and make them vulnerable to damage. The pipeline carries motor fuels produced by Phillips 66’s Billings refinery to western Montana and eastern Washington, said Phillips 66 spokesman Rich Johnson. The safety administration classifies its contents as a “non-highly volatile liquid” product. Phillips said that it has spent about $90 million on river crossing projects in the Rockies since 2011, including 17 drilled crossings in Montana between 2011 and 2014.
April 22, 2015: San Jose Residents in Gear Up for Campaign Against Santa Maria Refinery Expansion 200 Miles Away
The San Jose Mercury News reported on April 22, 2015 that local residents in San Jose are gearing up for a campaign against a Phillips 66 proposal to expand its existing oil refinery in Santa Maria by extending railroad lines connected to the refinery allow for delivery of crude oil from Canada. The oil would be transported along the Union Pacific Railroad, which runs directly through San Jose and is on the same line that goes through Diridon Station. Union Pacific's proximity to highly populated areas and creek ways is among the main concerns for San Jose City Council members, residents and activists in groups such as 350 Silicon Valley, a local organization focused on environmental issues. The project would result in as many as five oil trains per week traveling the lines, with a 250 annual train maximum, carrying approximately 2.2 million gallons of crude oil, according to the recirculated draft environmental impact report. Oil spills are not all that Pimentel and other members of 350 Silicon Valley are worried about, said Kathy Pimentel. "Most alarming of all is that thousands of residents would find themselves living within the one-mile blast zone," Pimentel said. "If a train derailed and exploded in this area, countless lives would be lost, much property damaged and it would take weeks for the fires to burn out."
Ash Kalra, District 2 councilman, said that though the Santa Maria refinery expansion is not an issue for San Jose leaders to decide, it is a project that affects San Jose residents. He and fellow council members penned a letter expressing concerns to San Luis Obispo County officials in January. "In the thousands of miles that [the train] passes through, the Bay Area is the most populated center," he said. "We've seen major explosions in rural areas; imagine what would happen in a large city."
April 22, 2015: Sierra Club Writes - Did Phillips 66 Have Weak Safety Standards in Wood River Refinery Oil Spill?
Christine Favilla wrote a letter to the editor of the Madison-St. Clair Record on April 22, 2015 on behalf of the Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club that she was shocked to hear news stations report that the river is safe at this time after Phillips 66's ruptured pipeline spilled 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the Cahokia Canal on Apri 18, 2015.
The Cahokia Canal empties into the Mississippi, a source of our drinking water for St. Louis. The Cahokia Canal was already under review for excess dissolved oxygen, total nitrogen, sedimentation/siltation, major habitat alterations, and total phosphorus. Add diesel to that list. We understand that the Phillips 66 personnel, Coast Guard, and oil spill response organizations are assessing the shoreline and recovery efforts. The question we hope they are addressing is: did the pipeline have weak safety standards for this project, including using thinner steel for the pipe, using pipe from China, or were they pumping at higher volumes than industry standards? We’ve let oil companies call the shots for too long, and now we’re cleaning up their messes locally. Time after time, these companies have shown their inadequacy at preventing spills, and incompetency at spill response and clean-up. Oil is toxic for most fish and marine species. According to the National Academy of Sciences, cleanup methods can only remove a small fraction of oil spilled in marine waters.
April 20, 2015: River Reopened After Cost Guard Secures Phillips 66 Pipeline Rupture
Oil Online reported on April 20, 2015 that the US Coast Guard has re-opened the Mississippi River from MM 160 to MM 195 on April 18, 2015 after an underground pipeline rupture was secured after about 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the river when an underground pipeline at a Phillips 66-operated terminal ruptured. The section of the river was closed after watchstanders were notified of a diesel fuel spill in the Cahokia Canal in the upper Mississippi River around 9:15 A.M. on April 17, 2015. “The Unified Command has done a great job to ensure the safety of our personnel, local communities and the environment, and to open the river to boating traffic as soon as it was safely possible, said Capt. Martin Malloy of Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River. “We will continue to work with the stakeholders to successfully resolve the incident.”
April 19, 2015: Phillips Reports SRU Emissions at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported SRU Emissions at Ferndale Refinery on April 22, 2015 .
April 17, 2015: Phillips 66 says 25,000 Gallons of Diesel Leaked near Wood River Refinery
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on April 17, 2015 that Phillips 66 estimates about 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked on April 17, 2015 into the Cahokia Canal, a waterway that drains into the Mississippi River prompting the Coast Guard to close a 35-mile section of the river. Phillips 66 discovered a leak in a pipeline that runs from its storage terminal to a barge loading dock at about 8:45 a.m.. The pipeline was shut off immediately and by 10 a.m. the company confirmed the leak had stopped. The barge loading dock is offline while the company continues to investigate the cause of the leak. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Kim Biggs in an email her agency, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard were all on site responding to the spill.
April 15, 2015: DCP Midstream Cleans Up Small Oil Spill in West Odessa
Bakken.com reported on April 15, 2015 that crews with DCP Midstream and the Ector County Environmental Office are assessing an oil spill that took place April 14, 2015 in West Odessa. According to Scott McMeans, supervisor at DCP Midstream, the low-pressure pipeline was a natural gas line that leaked due to corrosion causing oil to flow out. McMeans said that sometimes when oil producers have an upset at their tank batteries they can carry oil through the natural gas line, which was the case with the line that leaked Tuesday afternoon. “It is unintentional by both parties but it happens from time to time,” McMeans said. McMeans also said that clean up would take about 48 hours and about two barrels of oil were released until the line was shut off.
April 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Storm-Related Slowdown at Alliance Refinery
Phillips 66’s Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, was operating on Wednesday after a storm moved through the area, a spokesman said. Refining industry publication Energy News Today (ENT) said Tuesday afternoon that the refinery had a storm-related slowdown in operations, including halted production of a 102,000 b/d catalytic cracker that was in standby mode. ENT also said the refinery would try to resume planned rates through Friday.
April 14, 2015: Arroyo Grande Residents Oppose Phillips 66 Rail Project at Meeting
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 14, 2015 that in a meeting on April 14, 2015 with representatives of Phillips 66 Co., Union Pacific Railroad and the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, Arroyo Grande residents spoke out strongly against a proposed Phillips 66 Co. rail project that would bring up to 250 trains carrying crude oil through the county a year. All of the eight speakers during public comment on the Phillips 66 presentation spoke out against the proposed rail project, citing the same concerns over public health and fear of an explosive derailment. "As a citizen of Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo County, I am really sick and tired of profits meaning more than people," Kay Gore said at the presentation given during an Arroyo Grande City Council meeting. "Is it worth the property at risk, the lives at risk down the line? Stand up and say, 'we don't want this spur; we don't want these trains.' Stand up for the citizens."
Representatives of Phillips 66 say oil production in California is dropping and additional sources of crude oil is needed. The new project would allow the company to serve growing demand as well as add local jobs, they said. Project manager Jim Anderson also said the tank cars would not be transporting Bakken oil, which has drawn criticism because of its involvement in several rail explosions in the past year. It would instead be transporting a heavier and less volatile form of crude oil, he said. Phillips 66 will hold two more presentations on the project at meetings in South County in the next month. The next is scheduled for April 20 at the Grover Beach City Council meeting; followed by one at the Pismo Beach City Council meeting May 5.
April 11, 2015: Phillips Reports Compressor Trip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported a unit 3 wet gas compressor trip at its Sweeny, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the National Response Center on April 13, 2015.
April 10, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported the process unit did not shutdown and control equipment was restarted at its Borger, Texas refinery, ac.cording to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on April 10, 2015
April 7, 2015: Op-ed in San Fransisco Chronicle Says Phillips Refinery Plan Threatens Rodeo Resident's Safety
An op-ed in the San Fransisco Chronicle by Janet Pygeorge and Laurel Impett on April 7, 2015 asserts that the fracking boom in North Dakota and increased recovery of tar sands oil in Canada have prompted dramatic growth in transport of crude oil by rail throughout the United States from regions that pipelines don’t serve. Bay Area refineries and oil and gas companies already are planning for increased rail traffic and expanded operations. These plans are understandably alarming residents because of the potential for oil-train explosions. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, however, does not share this alarm.
April 4, 2015: Phillips 66 Restarts Alliance Refinery after Shutdown Due to Power Loss
Phillips was in the process of restarting its Alliance, Louisiana refinery on Monday after it was shut on Saturday due to power loss. The refinery also reported a release of materials due to the power loss, according to a filing with the National Response Center.
April 1, 2015: Citizens in Guadalupe Worry Phillips Oil Trains Could Explode
The Santa Maria Sun reported on April 1, 2015 that residents of Guadalupe who worried that their town could become the scene of an oil tanker explosion voiced their concerns during a March 24 Guadalupe City Council meeting. On the table was whether or not the City Council would endorse a letter from 3rd District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr, who opposes the project. All sides—including representatives from Phillips 66, who encouraged the council to not take action on the letter in light of a yet-to-be completed environmental impact report; and the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, which opposes the project—made their cases before a packed house of politicians, residents, and journalists. The letter was secondary to the discussion, though. The real question that was debated: Is it safe to allow railcars of crude oil to pass through Guadalupe?
Citing more than 60 years of safe rail operations, Phillips spokesman Jim Anderson said the extension is necessary for the refinery to maintain its present rate of crude oil processing. With Central Coast oil production in decline and a strong demand for fuel—only one of the many products refined from crude—in California, Anderson said the spur is needed. “The only way to fill up and complete that 44,000-barrel-a-day rate is, rather than propose a marine terminal or a truck terminal with thousands of trucks on the highway, we felt that a rail terminal, which is sitting right next to the mainline railroad tracks, would be the best alternative,” Anderson said, adding that the trains would be similar to the ones that have rolled through Guadalupe in the last 10 years, but would be slightly longer. Anderson noted that his company is presently working with the governor’s office to place a fee on each barrel of oil that’s loaded and unloaded. The money collected would go into a state-level emergency services fund and provide money for increasing the capability of emergency response.
Laurance Shinderman spoke on behalf of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, which formed to identify the negative impacts of the rail project and noted the explosive potential of crude’s flashpoint—the temperature at which vapor forms and can ignite. “The lower the flashpoint of the crude, the greater the risk,” Shinderman said, emphasizing that oil being shipped has a lower flashpoint. “I’m not a chemistry engineer, but I’ve done enough reading on this.” He went on to cite several instances of tanker cars exploding or catching on fire, including the 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster in Quebec where multiple tankers carrying Bakken formation crude oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying more than 30 buildings in a town roughly the size of Guadalupe.
The fate of the spur is still up in the air. At the end of the debate that Tuesday night, the city eventually voted 4-1 to not to take any action on endorsing Farr’s letter. Councilmember Ariston Julian dissented. Before the vote, Julian made a motion to endorse the letter, but it wasn’t seconded.
March 31, 2015: Phillips 66 to Present at Public Forum on Controversial Santa Maria Oil Train Project
KCBX reported on March 31, 2015 that representatives from Phillips 66, as well as the Oil Refinery Watch Group are expected to present their arguments for and against the Santa Mariarail project at a public discussion on April 2, 2015 in Grover Beach organized by Karen Bright with the South County Democratic Club of San Luis Obispo Count. "We had put it out to our members—various things and items, subject matter that they'd like to have presentations on throughout the year—and this was the one that rose to the top," said Bright. "I think because it's so current and there are so many differences of opinion, so we just wanted to get the facts from both sides."
March 27, 2015: Residents Push for more Information on Crude by Rail to Rodeo Refinery
Marin News reported on March 27, 2015 that residents of Rodeo, Crockett and Martinez say they want assurances that state and federal agencies are doing everything they can to keep them safe with plans advancing for crude oil by rail to the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. If plans are approved, an estimated five cars a week, each hauling 80 train cars, would travel between an unloading facility in Santa Maria and along the Amtrak Capitol Corridor before arriving at the refinery in Rodeo. "The oil companies are getting all the benefits and the communities who live near them are taking all the risk," said Nancy Rieser, who lives in Crockett and is a member of Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment, a community organization. Her group is pushing the railroad industry to release its risk-assessment information, required for insurance purposes, to better understand what kind of plans companies have in an event of an emergency and whether their insurance policies would cover a large incident. Railroad companies have so far declined to release the information. "You need to have hospitals at the ready, you need to have first responders, so if you keep it a secret, it's as if the plan didn't exist," she said. "You can't be coy with the communities."
"No human activity is completely risk-free," said Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, adding that railroad companies are already shifting to new cars -- outfitted with heat shields, thicker tank material and pressure-relief devices and that the spill rate for trains transporting crude was roughly four times higher than accidents involving pipelines. "Communities are resistant to crude by rail and they are against pipelines, but they also want to go to the pump and be able to fill up their car."
March 25, 2015: Phillips Reports Breakdown, Emissions at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a breakdown and emissions at Wilmington Refinery on March 25, 2015.
March 25, 2015: Phillips Reports Equipment Back to Normal after Process Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported equipment is back to normal after a process upset at Wood River Refinery on March 25, 2015.
March 23, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Regenerator Upset Ponca City Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an FCCU regenerator Upset at Ponca City Refinery on March 23, 2015.
March 21, 2015: Phillips Reports SRU Upset, Hydrogen Sulfide Flaring at Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an SRU upset and Hydrogen Sulfide flaring at Borger Refinery on March 21, 2015.
March 17, 2015: Recent Lawsuits Signal a Litigious Future for Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries
Rhys Heyden writes in the Santa Maria Sun that three recent lawsuits filed in Contra Costa County against the Propane Recovery Project at Rodeo Refinery highlighted an important similarity between the two Philips 66 refineries. Namely, that Phillips operates a refinery in each county, and a proprietary pipeline links the two and that legal action has a direct connection to SLO County and the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. “Folks who are watching the Santa Maria Refinery and its rail spur extension project should also keep a close eye on Rodeo,” said Roger Lin, an attorney representing environmental group Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in one of the three suits. “We’ve always held the position that the two refineries are really just one whole.”
"In an oversimplified sense, Lin’s opinion is the nexus of the trio of lawsuits," writes Heyden. "Phillips 66 insists that a “propane recovery project” at the Rodeo Refinery and the rail spur project at the Santa Maria Refinery are discrete entities, and their opponents insist that the two projects are inextricable." “The county improperly ‘piecemealed’ its review of the [propane recovery] project from other related projects … designed to accommodate the switch from California crudes to out-of-state imports,” argues the SAFER suit. “People in SLO County, just like those in Contra Costa County, have the right to have all these impacts evaluated in one place,” said Marc Joseph, an attorney representing SAFER California. “It’s truly baffling that the powers that be refuse to analyze this project as a whole.”
“We’ve been saying all along that the fastest way to a conclusion is for Phillips 66 to just admit that these two projects are linked,” Lin said. “If Phillips 66 wants to shortcut this legal process and just tell the truth, we welcome that.” As for how Phillips 66—the prime mover of this entire situation—thinks legal action in Contra Costa County could affect its SLO County proposal, it’s anyone’s guess. In response to that exact question, Phillips spokesman Dennis Nuss simply answered, “We remain committed to the proposed Santa Maria rail project.”
March 15, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring, Breakdown Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring due to a breakdown at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, according to a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
March 14, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Shut at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported the shutdown of the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Sweeny, Texas, refinery on Saturday, according to a filing with the state pollution regulator.
March 12, 2015: Phillips Reports Equipment Failure at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an equipment failure at Wood River Refinery on March 12, 2015.
March 11, 2015: Phillips Reports FCCU Regenerator Start-Up at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an FCCU Regenerator start-up at Ponca City Refinery on March 11, 2015.
March 9, 2015: Phillips Reports Minor Pipeway Leak at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a minor pipeline leak at Rodeo Refinery on March 9, 2015.
March 7, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, on Saturday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The filing did not specify the unit involved or say if there had been any impact on production.
March 6, 2014: Phillips 66 Project Faces Additional Lawsuits Over Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project
The San Jose Mercury News reported on March 6, 2015 that on March 4, 2015 Communities for a Better Environment sued the county and Phillips 66, contending the propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo refinery is part of a grander plan to process heavy, dirty tar sands crude that would come to California by rail. On March 5, 2015 Rodeo Citizens Association filed suit in Contra Costa Superior Court, Martinez against Contra Costa County and the Phillips 66 Co., contending Phillips wants to transport heavy and dirty tar sands crude by rail from outside the state to a sister refinery in San Luis Obispo County and pipe the semi-refined oil to Rodeo. On March 5, 2015 Safe Fuel Energy Resources of California, a group representing workers at the Rodeo refinery, sued the county and Phillips 66 in Superior Court, Martinez, according to an announcement by the firm Public Good PR LLC. "Following two years of careful analysis by the Contra Costa County board (of Supervisors) and its expert staff, claims that this project is a crude by rail project were dismissed," said Phillips 66 spokesman Paul Adler.
March 4, 2015: Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project Subject to Legal Challenge
The Fort Bragg Advocate-News reported on March 4, 2015 that the environmental group "Communities for a Better Environment" has sued Contra Costa County over its approval of a propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo refinery, contending it is a piece of a grander plan to process heavy, dirty tar sands crude that would come to California by rail. CBE has said that the refinery, with the acquiescence of authorities, seeks to "piecemeal" what the environmental group describes as "a tar sands refining project that could worsen pollution, climate, and refinery and rail explosion hazards." The EIR, CBE contends, "hid the project from the public and failed to mitigate its significant environmental impacts." Phillips 66 spokesman Paul Adler said Wednesday the company would be issuing a statement in response to the filing. Officials at County Counsel Sharon Anderson's office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Along with the Rodeo project's EIR, the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 3 rejected two appeals of a November 2013 county Planning Commission-approved use permit for the project. The appellants were CBE and the law firm of Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger on behalf of the Rodeo Citizens Association. The board vote was 4-1, with Supervisor John Gioia voting no.
March 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring, Unit Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring and a unit upset at Wood River Refinery on March 3, 2015.
February 27, 2015: Phillips 66 Billings Pipeline Division Takes Proactive Measures to Improve Safety at Pipeline near Mystic Park
Kulr8 News reported on February 27, 2015 that Phillips 66 is getting ready to replace a pipe near Mystic Park and bury it deeper below the Yellowstone River and will proactively replacing the crossing with a directionally-drilled crossing using a machine to drill horizontally more than 40 feet below the Yellowstone River in the bedrock and they'll pull the pipe through. "We kicked up that program,” says Mike Miller, the Billings division pipeline manager at Phillips 66. “We've always had a program but we got very aggressive. That's where we said we're going to look at every crossing up here and do a detailed assessment on it and if there's any concerns we're going to proactively get on it." Miller says these crossings didn't pose any imminent concerns. But it's important to do this because rivers can meander or get deeper. If a pipeline gets exposed, it's at risk. "Part of being a responsible company is being a good neighbor and protecting people and the environment. And it's just one of our core values. And this is a big program. It's one of many elements of our pipeline safety program."
February 25, 2015: Union of Concerned Scientists Sends Letter to Phillips 66 about Risks to Bayway Refinery and Other Coastal Refineries
The Union of Concerned Scientists sent a letter to Phillips 66 on February 25, 2015 expressing concern about the lack of public disclosure of physical risks due to climate change at Phillips 66’s coastal refineries. "As you are aware, Superstorm Sandy caused a 7,770 gallon oil spill at the Bayway refinery in 2012. The refinery was shut down for several weeks due to flood damage, and incurred significant maintenance and repair expenses," says the leter. "Risk of such events in the future is likely to grow. Diminished refining utilization rates, downtime or closure of facilities due to direct damage, danger to employees, releases of environmental contamination, disruption in supply chains and distribution centers, and/ or power supply due to storm surge or sea level rise could have a material impact on production and related cash flows."
February 24, 2015: Phillips Restarts Crude Unit at IBayway Refinery After Previous Attempts Met With Problems
Phillips restarted the crude unit after unexpected delays at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, a person familiar with the facility's operations said on Tuesday. The restart of the crude unit was expected to begin on Monday, but previous attempts to restart the unit met with problems, including frozen lines. The company planned on shutting down the unit for about a week of planned maintenance on February 4.
February 23, 2015: Phillips Delays Crude Unit Restart Due to Cold Weather at Bayway Refinery
Phillips experienced delays due in part to the winter freeze on Friday in restarting a crude unit at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey. The unit had been shut for around a week of planned maintenance on February 4. The company plans on restarting the unit today, a source said Monday.
February 23, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a process upset at Borger Refinery on February 23, 2015.
February 21, 2015: Phillips Plans to Restart FCCU at Ponca City Refinery After Unit Overheated
Phillips shut the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery this week after the unit overheated, according to a person familiar with the plant’s operations. The refinery plans to restart the unit Saturday, the person said. Phillips previously said planned maintenance was underway at the plant.
February 21, 2015: Mesa Refinery Watch Group Says "Just Say No to Crude by Rail" to Phillips Santa Maria Oil Train Project
The Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on February 21, 2015 opposing Phillips “crude-by-rail strategy” on California and San Luis Obispo County and listing the local cities, counties, and ditricts that have already officially communicated their opposition:
- Alameda County
- Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
- Simi Valley
- San Jose
- San Leandro Unified School District
- San Luis Obispo City
- Ventura County
- Ventura Unified School District
"Therefore — this is not a “NIMBY” issue," write the group. "Phillips’ plan endangers scores of cities and towns, and millions of citizens as their trains carry tar sands all the way from Canada to SLO County."
February 18, 2015: San Luis Obispo City Council Opposes Phillips Santa Maria Oil Train Project
The Paso Roble Daily News reported on February 18, 2015 that the San Luis Obispo City Council decided on February 17, 2015 to oppose the Santa Maria Phillips 66 rail spur project, which could bring mile-long oil trains carrying 2.5 million gallons of crude nearly every day through San Luis Obispo. The council directed city staff to write a letter to the county opposing the Phillips 66 project. In voting to oppose the Santa Maria Phillips 66 rail spur, San Luis Obispo joins cities and counties all along the rail route that have passed resolutions and sent letters against the project, including San Jose, Davis, Berkeley, Oakland, Moorpark, Oxnard, Camarillo, Alameda County, and Ventura County. More than 22,000 people from across California have also voiced opposition to the project. “We’re seeing massive opposition to this project from citizens all along the rail route — and with good reason,” said Valerie Love with the Center for Biological Diversity. “No one in their right mind would invite these dangerous bomb trains into their community.”
February 18, 2015: Phillips Reports Compressor Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a compressor upset at Wood River Refinery on February 18, 2015.
February 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo, California Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring at Rodeo Refinery on February 14, 2015.
February 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset led to flaring at its Rodeo refinery in northern California on Saturday, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. The filing did not specify the unit involved or say if there had been any impact on production.
February 12, 2015: Phillips Reports Emissions from Aeration Tank at Sweeny Refinery
Phillip 66 reported emissions from an Aeration Tank at Sweeny Refinery on February 12, 2015.
February 5, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a substance was released to flare due to unit upset at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to the California Emergency Management Agency.
February 4, 2015: Workers at Santa Maria Refinery Concerned About Fatigue Policy, Show Solidarity with Union Strikers
The New Times reports that since January 28, 2015 a rotating group of members the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 534 chapter have been picketing at the gates of the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo to show solidarity with the work stoppage involving roughly 3,800 workers at nine refineries that started on February 1, 2015. “We are just picketing and not on strike yet, but it’s important for us to express ourselves and show solidarity with the USW,” said Juan Zepeda, the financial secretary/treasurer of the local USW chapter and a sulfur plant operator at the Santa Maria Refinery. “The picketing shows [Phillips 66] that they haven’t torn us apart yet.” “At this time, there hasn’t yet been a decision to expand the work stoppage,” said Nashville-based USW spokeswoman Lynne Hancock. “More refineries could soon join the strike if necessary, but that decision would be made at the national level.”
Outside the Santa Maria Refinery, Zepeda said 10 to 15 workers have been picketing every day for about a week, adding that—other than showing solidarity—the local USW chapter’s biggest issue is installing a new “fatigue policy” to give overworked employees some relief. “I can work anywhere from 110 to 148 hours in a two-week period, and that’s typical—it’s almost impossible for refinery workers to have family time,” Zepeda said. “You can only squeeze a nickel so hard before it starts to hurt the other side. “It’s also a ticking time bomb, it’s a refinery where a lot can go up in flames,” he added. “You’ve got to have people that are alert and have their wits about them—you can’t live with some zombie at the controls.”
“Once national bargaining is completed, Phillips 66 will be negotiating a new bargaining contract with the local USW unions that represent each of our refineries covered by expiring contracts,” says Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss. “We are committed to reaching a new agreement that is good for our employees and protects the future of some of the best jobs in American industry. “We are hopeful that we can achieve this goal without any interruption to our operations,” he added. “In addition to competitive wages and benefits, we expect the next contract to support our local efforts to improve safety and productivity.”
February 3, 2015: County Supervisors Approve Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project
The San Jose Mercury News reported on February 3, 2015 that in a 4 - 1 decision the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors has approved Phillip 66's propane and butane recovery project at the Rodeo Refinery after more than a year of wrangling over the project's scope, its impacts on health and the environment, and safety concerns. The project "will help ensure the long-term viability of the Rodeo refinery and the many jobs it provides," said Phillips spokesman Paul Adler after the vote. "Protecting our people, our environment and our communities guides everything we do," added Adler, who previously worked for the county as a district representative for Supervisor Federal Glover. But opponents, including the environmental advocacy group Communities for a Better Environment, vowed to continue the fight. "This is an example of environmental injustice," said Roger Lin, attorney for CBE, adding that "procedural and substantive errors" accompanied the board's decision.
January 31, 2015: Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project Faces Stiff Opposition at Contra Costa County Hearing
The Contra Costa Times reported on January 31, 2015 that the propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo petroleum refinery faces stiff opposition from some local residents as well as regional and national environmental groups as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors prepares to hold a hearing on February 3, 2015. The Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project calls for installing new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning the gases at the Rodeo refinery or flaring off excesses. Phillips 66 has said the project would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by removing sulfur compounds from refinery fuel gas, and reduce other pollutants and greenhouses gases, but environmentalists and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have questioned those claims. The hearing will include two appeals of the November 2013 approval by the county Planning Commission of a land use permit for the project, as well as consideration of a recirculated Environmental Impact Report. Opponents have said the Rodeo project should be considered as one together with a proposed rail spur at another Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County while Phillips has countered that the two projects are independent of each other.
January 25, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a flaring event at its Rodeo, California refinery led to sulfur dioxide emissions on Sunday, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
January 24, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Pipe Leak at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process piping leak led to a release of ammonia at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois early on Saturday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The company stopped the release and was working on a clean-up plan, the filing said.
January 23, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a Process Upset at Wood River Refinery on January 23, 2015.
January 23, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Los Angeles Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring at Los Angeles Refinery on January 23, 2015.
January 22, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a Process Upset at Wood River Refinery.
January 22, 2015: Phillips 66 Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a process upset at Borger Refinery on January 22, 2015.
January 16, 2015: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
January 15, 2015: San Jose City Council Votes Unanimously to Oppose Plans For Phillips 66 Crude Oil Transport
NBC Bay Area News reported on January 15, 2015 that the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to oppose Phillips 66's plans for crude oil to be transported through San Jose and urged the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission to reject the expansion proposal. "It's coming right through our cities within a hundred feet of homes in my council district," said City Councilman Ash Kalra. "Going through farmlands in my council district as well, and going through downtown." The issue was discussed at Tuesday's council meeting and a debate lasted lasted late into the afternoon, with some council members saying it is the federal government's job, not the city's, to make the call. "We should also be asking 'Is enough being done to make us safe?'" Councilman Johnny Khamis said. "But not outright oppose it."
January 12, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a flaring event due to unknown reasons at its Wilmington, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.
January 12, 2015: Carolyn Norr Writes: "Say no to toxic oil trains for the future of our children"
Carolyn Norr wrote an op-ed in the Contra Costa Times on January 12, 2015 that said that Phillips 66 proposes an expansion of its facility 250 miles south of here, that would bring a mile-long toxic train every day past our homes and schools. "I invite the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors, my City Council, and everyone who cares about the safety and future of families in California, to join me in doing everything in our power to stop this plan. No to the expansion of Phillips 66, no to oil trains in our communities."
Orley Troxel replied in the comments that "I wish I knew if Carolyn Norr drove a vehicle? I bet "Yes". I wish I knew if Carolyn Norr heated and cooled her house, with energy from fossil fuels? I bet "Yes". I wish I knew whether Carolyn Norr used plactic wrap in her kitchen, wore clothes made with man-made fabrics, wore clothes with "organic" fibers that were cultivated with machinery that burned fossil fuels."
January 1, 2015: Phillips Reports Power Failure at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a power failure at its Los Angeles area refinery in Wilmington, California, on Thursday,according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The event led to the release of sulfur dioxide vapors, the filing said.
December 31, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery 
December 31, 2014: The Pros and Cons of a Controversial Phillips 66 Oil-by-Rail Project at the Santa Maria Refinery
Rhys Heyden wrote in the New Times on December 31, 2014 that Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery would like to transport much of its crude oil into San Luis Obispo County via train, while opponents would prefer such plans to be driven out of the county on a rail. "Many stakeholders adamantly support the project, while many locals virulently oppose the proposed rail spur that would allow this transportation method to materialize," writes Heyden. "There are plenty of lawyers involved and lots of money tied up in each side of the issue, and the project itself reaches far beyond the borders of SLO County."
Seeking to understand why many people support the project, New Times reached out to Phillips 66 to get their point of view. Though New Times requested a tour of the refinery and access to speak with a variety of Phillips 66 employees, the company—working with SLO-based PR firm Barnett Cox & Associates—declined to provide either, instead offering a presentation and interview with two company spokespeople. Essentially, Phillips argues that oil production in Santa Barbara County (the refinery’s predominant current source of oil at about 65 to 80 percent of total sourcing) is in decline. Anticipating further falloff, the company wants to diversify how it receives oil and where it receives it from.
Project adversaries disagreed with what they see as “specious” arguments from Phillips 66. They feel that the company has not been a good neighbor and is pursuing the crude-by-rail strategy primarily to enhance profits, not because any refinery jobs or the local oil supply are truly at risk. “There are just no grounds on which to support this project,” says Sierra Club leader Andrew Christie. “The impacts are understated, the EIR has been deficient from the start, and there are still 11 ‘significant and unavoidable’ impacts in a defective EIR.” All of these impacts are essentially due to the potential for high levels of toxic emissions from the oil trains or the mushrooming consequences of a possible crude oil spill and/or derailment.
Unsurprisingly for a project of this magnitude, many politicos polled by New Times said they saw the rail spur project likely being appealed by one side or the other—from the Planning Commission, to the Board of Supervisors, to the California Coastal Commission (the refinery is in the coastal zone)—and then likely being settled in court in a years-long struggle.“Ultimately, it comes down to this: Is what they’re proposing appropriate for the community, or are the impacts just too great?,” said District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill. “It will be interesting to see how that question is answered.”
December 23, 2014: Phillips Reports Emissions at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported Emissions at Wood River Refinery on December 23, 2014.
December 19, 2014: FCCU to Remain Online During Work at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported the electrostatic precipitator within the unit 40 fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) was scheduled for replacement and the FCCU was not scheduled for shutdown during repairs, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Phillips reports the ending date for the maintenance activity as January 16, 2015.
December 17, 2014: Air Board Approves Plan to Cut Pollution at Bay Area Refineries Including Rodeo Refinery and Santa Maria Refinery
The San Jose Mercury News reported on December 17, 2014 that the regional air pollution regulators have approved a far-reaching blueprint to cut Bay Area oil refinery emissions by 20 percent. More rigorous monitoring of refinery emissions will be required. To assure continued clean air improvements, refiners will be required periodically to assess their pollution and ways to reduce it. "This strategy will ensure that refineries are taking the strongest steps to cut emissions and minimize their impacts on neighboring residents and the region as a whole," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer.
December 12, 2014: Moonpark City Councilman Doesn't Agree With Letter of Opposition to Santa Maria Oil Trains
Art Van Kraft reported in the Moonpark Acorn on December 12, 2014 that Moonpark City Councilman Keith Millhouse says he doesn’t agree with a report from the Moonpark community development department, which concludes that trains carrying crude oil to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery would be a potential threat to residents and recommends a letter of opposition be submitted to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission. “I don’t know why staff decided that an opposition letter would be the appropriate response,” said Millhouse, who said he can’t see the risk in allowing the freight train to pass through the city, one of several along the 213-mile route. “They come up with a highly implausible scenario and suggested action based upon that. I don’t think that is responsible.” Millhouse pointed out that Phillips 66 wouldn’t be the first oil company to transport crude through town on a regular basis. Millhouse said the report doesn’t put the risk in proper context and creates unnecessary fear. “That (threat) is not a realistic problem,” Millhouse said. “They are creating hysteria about what might happen and we need a more rational discussion of this.”
December 12, 2014: Berkeley Rent Board to Discuss Effects of Phillips Plan to Bring Oil by Rail Through East Bay Cities
Tom Lochner reported in the Contra Costa Times on December 12 , 2014 that the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board will discuss crude oil transport by rail through East Bay communities at their next meeting. A draft resolution opposes a proposal by Phillips 66 to bring crude oil from outside the state to its Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County. The purpose of the resolution is to pre-empt "the possible destruction of affordable housing in Berkeley from an explosive and destructive derailment ... as the trains pass through Berkeley." "If the crude-by-rail project is approved, these dangerous 'bomb trains' will roll through many California communities each day, including northern and western shorelines of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties," the draft resolution reads. "This project will put many communities at risk of accidents and spills, threatening our air, water, health and Berkeley's rent-controlled housing stock."
Phillips 66 has said it is pleased that issues brought forth by the community are addressed in a revised Draft Environmental Impact Report that will be the subject of a public hearing in San Luis Obispo. "We understand that there may be opposition to the project, and we look forward to San Luis Obispo County providing responses to new issues that are raised and addressing them in compliance with (the California Environmental Quality Act)."
December 9, 2014: Environmentalists Concerned About Canadian Oil Sands Crude Deliveries to Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries
Tom Lochner reported in the Okaland Tribune on December 9, 2014 that environmentalists are concerned about deliveries of Canadian Oil Sands Crude to the Santa Maria Refinery. Sleuthing through the reports of the Santa Maria project and a liquefied petroleum gas project at another Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, the group concluded that the propane and butane to be recovered at the Bay Area facility would come from tar sands oil and a diluting agent used to prepare it for transport -- first, as diluted bitumen coming by rail to Santa Maria, then, semi-refined, by pipeline to Rodeo. The October 2014 DEIR specifically rules out delivery of Bakken to the Santa Maria Refinery, although it does not say exactly where the oil would come from.
Tar sands oil is "even worse than Bakken," contends CBE senior scientist Greg Karras. In diluted bitumen form, it is just as volatile, he said, and processing it consumes greater quantities of fossil fuels and produces more greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The heavy tar sands oil also contains more copper, vanadium, nickel, lead, sulfur and nitrogen than other crudes. The comments call tar sands oil among "the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet." The high sulfur content, moreover, makes the oil corrosive. Sulfur corrosion, the comments note, was a factor in an August 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond that sickened thousands. Diluted bitumen also is a powerful water pollutant, Karras said, particularly difficult to clean up because it is so heavy that it settles at the bottom of waterways.
December 3, 2014: County Receives 11,000 Letters Opposing Santa Maria Rail Spur Project
The New Times reported on December 3, 2014 that the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department’ was surprised to have received 11,000 messages and letters opposing Phillips 66's rail spur project that would bring crude oil by rail to the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery. “It said we had 10,600 unread messages,” said Murray Wilson. “That’s in addition to the 50 to 100 hard copies of letters we received, so it’s going to take a while to sort through all of this.” Wilson said that his department is currently organizing and forwarding all of the public comments to the EIR consultants, who will subsequently respond to the communication and put together the final EIR for the project. “We’re scheduled to have the final EIR published by the middle of January, and I hope we can stay on that target,” Wilson said. “It’s a matter of making sure we respond to all the letters appropriately.” According to Wilson, the vast majority of communication received—he estimated 98 or 99 percent—was comprised of about five different types of individually signed form letters from various environmental activist groups.
December 3, 2014: Deadline for Comments to Environmental Report on Proposed Propane and Butane Recovery Project at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on December 3, 2014 that December 5, 2014 is the deadline for comments to an environmental report on a proposed propane and butane recovery project at the Phillips 66 petroleum refinery. The project calls for installing new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning the gases at the refinery or flaring off excesses. While Phillips 66 has said the project would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by removing sulfur compounds from refinery fuel gas, and reduce other pollutants and greenhouses gases, environmentalists and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District questioned those claims. The project suffered a string of setbacks after breezing through early stages of the approval process, beginning with the endorsement of the Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council in 2013, followed by county Planning Commission approval of a land use permit later that year. Two environmental groups appealed the Planning Commission's approval, characterizing the original draft environmental impact report as inadequate and incomplete. The air district, meanwhile, said the project's emissions and possible health effects should be considered cumulatively with other petroleum industry-related projects in the East Bay and North Bay.
November 26, 2014: San Jose City Councilman Urges Rejection of Phillips 66 Company Rail Spur Extension Project
The Santa Cruz Sentinel News reported on November 26, 2014 that San Jose City councilman Ash Kalra has announced his opposition to the Phillips 66 Company Rail Spur Extension Project would bring as many as 250 unit trains a year with 80 tank cars plus locomotives and supporting cars to a new crude oil unloading facility in Santa Maria from the north or from the south along tracks owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. "This will allow mile-long oil trains carrying millions of gallons of explosive, toxic crude oil in unsafe tank cars to travel through California every day," reads a news release from San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra. "These trains will travel through the Bay Area passing neighborhoods in San Jose, including Kalra's District 2 in south San Jose. This proposed plan threatens the residents and families along the rail routes and also threatens the environment and local water supplies." Kalra continues by urging San Luis Obispo County to reject the project, saying, "The safety of our community members, our health, and our environment, should not be taken lightly."
November 25, 2014: CDU Restarted, VDU and Coker Remain Shut at Phillips Wood River, Refinery
Genscape reported the 64,000 b/d crude distillation unit (CDU) was restarted and the 30,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit (VDU) and 16,000 b/d coker remained shut following an upset on November 22. Significantly decreased furnace stack activity at all three units was observed beginning the morning of November 22. The company reported flaring due to an unspecified equipment failure in a filing with the IEMA.
November 24, 2014: Update: Phillips Says Unit Remains Shut at Westlake Refinery
Phillips said on Monday a unit remained shut following a fire on Sunday morning at its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana. Refinery operations have continued uninterrupted and there were no injuries due to the fire, which was put out by the plant’s in-house emergency response team, the company said. An investigation was underway into the incident, it added. The company reported a gasoline release due to a fire at the refinery, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center.
November 23, 2014: Phillips Reports Gasoline Release Due to a Fire at Westlake Refinery
Phillips reported a release of gasoline into the atmosphere due to a fire which was extinguished, according to a filing with the National Response Center. The incident, which occurred on November 23, was under investigation.
November 23, 2014: Fire Extinguished at Lake Charles Refinery
KPLC reported on November 23, 2014 that a fire broke out in one of the units at the Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex at 6 am on November 23, 2014. "The plant's in-house emergency response team was immediately called to the scene and extinguished the blaze," said Carol Collins, Public Relations Director for Phillips 66,. "There were no injuries and no impact to the community. As required, the refinery notified all appropriate local and state agencies." Westlake Police told KPLC the fire was out by 7:50 a.m. and a few roads near the refinery were blocked off and the fire was quickly put out. Collins said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
November 22, 2014: Phillips Reports Equipment Failure at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported an unspecified equipment failure on Saturday at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
November 18, 2014: Op-ed Says that Santa Maria Refinery Rail Expansion Could Imperil Downtown San Jose
Richard Nevle and Deborah Levoy wrote in an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News on November 18, 2014 that trains rolling through Northern California communities on their way to Phillips' Santa Maria refinery may soon carry massive charges of highly toxic tar sands crude that could bring nightmarish catastrophes to the heart of San Jose's downtown neighborhoods. "The mile-long trains transport millions of gallons of volatile oil in unsafe tank cars that are prone to derailing and exploding. California's railways weren't built to transport this noxious oil," write the authors. "If you think oil spills can't happen in San Jose, consider that more rail-transported oil spilled in 2013 than in the four prior decades. Or ask relatives of the 47 people who were incinerated when an oil train exploded in Quebec in July 2013."
"Oil companies including ConocoPhillips, of which Phillips 66 is a subsidiary, have contributed huge sums of money to forestall meaningful legislative action on the climate, actively working against the public interest in order to line their own pockets. The proposed facility expansion in Santa Maria is motivated by more of the same amoral self-interest that willfully places public health, land, water and climate at risk. We can't hope for oil companies to behave ethically. That would be perilous. We simply have to fight them every step of the way."
November 18, 2014: Phillips Donates $250,000 to Upgrade Storm Warning Systems Around Wood River Refinery
KSDK reported on November 28, 2014 that Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery is donaring $250,000 to three local communities to upgrade their storm warning systems by installing new sirens. Phillips has also put money aside for educational programming, including severe weather preparedness programs that will be taught in schools and at municipal fire departments and will fund a National Weather Service spotters training course. Wood River Fire Chief Steve Alexander says much of the credit for this agreement goes to Phillips 66.
November 15, 2014: Phillips Reports Emissions from Bayway Refinery
Phillips Reports Emissions from Bayway Refinery 
November 14, 2014: Phillips Reports FCCU Startup at Borger Refinery
Phillips Reports FCCU Startup at Borger Refinery 
November 14, 2014: Sacramento Area Council of Governments Calls for Stronger Safety Controls on a Phillips Santa Maria Rail Proposal
The Sacramento Bee reported on November 14, 2014 that board members of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, regional officials are asking San Luis Obispo County to require the Phillips 66 to notify local fire officials before any crude oil train comes through the area, limit the parking of crude-oil-laden trains in the urban area, provide funding for training on fighting oil fires, and require trains and tracks to have modern safety features. SACOG officials said they are not taking a stance against rail shipments of crude oil in general. “Our intent is not to prohibit any types of shipments, our intent is to ensure that where they are shipped that we impose the most reasonably feasible safety measures for our communities,” the agency’s attorney Kirk Trost said during a board briefing this week.
The Sacramento group, in its letter, also joined a growing national chorus of cities and states demanding that particularly flammable crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota be stripped of its more volatile elements before being loaded on trains. In an email to The Sacramento Bee, Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said Phillips does not plan to ship Bakken oil to its Santa Maria Refinery. “Phillips 66 is working to ensure the long-term viability of the Santa Maria Refinery and the many jobs it provides,” he wrote. “Our plans for this project reflect our company’s commitment to operational excellence and safety while enhancing the competitiveness of the facility.”
November 13, 2014: "Safety is the Humber Refinery’s Number One Priority"
The Grimsby Telegraph reported on November 13, 2014 that that contractors voted to go back to work today, following days of walkouts amid safety concerns. "This morning, contractors have returned to work," said spokeswoman Nina Stobart. "Phillips 66 will engage in open and honest dialogue to address any concerns outstanding and will work to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Safety is the Humber Refinery’s number one priority."
Despite the vote for 'yes', one disgruntled worker said: "They've asked for a show of hands and the group is clearly split; they're not going to do anything until someone is killed." Contract workers initially walked out on Monday after claiming that refinery bosses had reneged on an agreement to meet them in person following a gas leak at the site last Wednesday, which left two people requiring hospital treatment. “The employer has climbed down a bit but Phillips 66 do not want us in the meetings with contractors as they seem to be anti-Union but they are creating a recipe for disaster," Shaune Clarkson, regional organiser for GMB.
November 13, 2014: Workers Return to Work at Humber Refinery After Wildcat Strike Over Safety Issues
BBC and Harrogate reported on November 13, 2014 that striking workers have returned to work at Phillips 66's Humber Refinery after three days of industrial action claiming safety concerns following a gas leak last week in which two people were taken to the hospital. Engineering construction employees at the Humber Refinery decided at a mass meeting to return to work after spending three days on strike. The GMB union, which said it was aware of a health and safety issue on the site, said a meeting was being held between shop stewards and managers to finalise details of a return to work. Phillips said it would hold meetings with staff and the managers of contract companies and would "engage in open and honest dialogue to address any concerns outstanding and will work to reach a satisfactory conclusion". "Safety is the Humber Refinery's number one priority," it added.
November 12, 2014: Humber Refinery Workers Walk Out for Third Day Over Safety Issues
BBC reported on November 12, 2014 that 450 contract employees have stopped working at the Humber Refinery in South Killingholme for the thirdday claiming concerns over "safety issues". GMB union officer Shaune Clarkson said his members wanted "reassurance" from management that the plant was safe. A spokeswoman for Phillips 66 said: "This morning, despite the repeated offers by the refinery management to meet face to face with each company and their staff, the contractors voted to stay off work for a third day in unofficial action." The company said the refinery was "not being impacted by this action".
The GMB union national officer Phil Whitehurst said: "Following a major stoppage of work we have been advised that there is a major health and safety issue on the site. GMB has been refused access to the site in order to resolve what has been described to us as a major hazard. We urge the company to allow the union on to the site to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible for the safety of workers and the public."
November 12, 2014: Group Meets to Voice Oppostion to Crude Oil Deliveries by Rail to Santa Maria Refinery
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on November 12, 2014 that more than 200 people met in Nipomo to voice opposition to a plan by Phillips 66 to install tracks so it can deliver crude oil to its Santa Maria refinery by rail. One by one, group members took turns detailing significant and potentially disastrous impacts that they believe the proposal could have on San Luis Obispo County. “Approving this project would change the very fabric of our county,” Martin Akel said. “My friends, protect yourself. Take action and take it now.” No county planning officials or Phillips 66 representatives spoke during the presentations.
According to Cynthia Lambert writing in the Tribune, judging by the large crowd and enthusiastic response for the speakers, many attendees agreed with concerns about possible air quality, noise and odor impacts, as well as the potential for rail accidents that could cause oil spills, fires or explosions — not just in Nipomo, but anywhere along the Union Pacific mainline. “How can anyone be in favor of this?” said Janet Pelkey, who came to the meeting with her husband, Jim, to learn more about the project.
November 12, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring Due to Upset Conditions Wood River Refinery
Phillips Reports Flaring Due to Upset Conditions Wood River Refinery 
November 11, 2014: Hundreds of Humber Refinery Workers Walk Out for Second Day Over Safety Issues
BBC reported on November 11, 2014 that hundreds of contract workers have downed tools for a second day at Phillips 66's Humber Refinery over "safety concerns" after two workers were injured by a steam leak on October 30, 2014. Phillips employs 1,000 contractors and 750 staff. Mechanical engineers, scaffolders, welders and pipe-fitters are among the workers who have walked out. GMB union officer Shaune Clarkson said his members wanted a meeting with management to discuss safety at the plant. "The most important thing when you walk through those gates in the morning is you get home safely to your families at night," said Clarkson. "All we want, and all the men want, is a reassurance that is going to happen." A company spokeswoman said Philips 66 had been holding an "ongoing dialogue with contractor management over the last week to discuss their issues, many of which relate to onsite communications".
November 10, 2014: 450 Contract Employees Walk Out at Humber Refinery Over Safety Concerns
BBC reported on November 10, 2014 that 450 contract workers walked out at Phillips 66's Humber Refinery on November 10, 2014. The "unofficial" action is over communication issues at the site. However the GMB union says it's over safety concerns after a gas leak at the site last week in which two men were injured. Phillips 66 confirmed there had been "a small gas release on a unit during some routine maintenance work at the Humber Refinery" last Wednesday. "All we want is a reassurance that the site is safe [and] some safety issues addressed. Unfortunately, the employer has failed to do that and because of that then men have reacted," said GMB union officer Shaune Clarkson. "This is the straw that's broke the camel's back." A company spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that earlier today, at approximately midday, a number of contract workers left site in unofficial action. "We have been in ongoing dialogue with contractor management over the last week to discuss their issues, many of which relate to onsite communications, and will continue to work with them to reach a satisfactory conclusion."
November 8, 2014: Phillips Reports FCCU Shut at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported the shutdown of the fluid catalytic cracking unit 40 (FCCU) starting Saturday at its Borger, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The unit was expected to be started up on November 20, the filing said. The heavy oil catalytic cracking unit 40 has a capacity of 30,000 b/d.
November 5, 2014: Phillips Set to Overhaul FCCU at Bayway Refinery in 2016 to Increase Diesel Production 25 Percent
Phillips plans to overhaul the 150,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its refinery in Linden, New Jersey, in 2016, as part of a broader goal to increase diesel production by as much as 25 percent. The overhaul will include construction of a new reactor for the FCCU and is expected to begin in the third quarter 2016.
November 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring at Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips filed a report with the California Emergency Management Agency, indicating flaring due to a process upset at its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, on Saturday. The report stated that the refinery was being brought “back under control” after the incident.
October 30, 2014: Two Workers Injured at Humber Refinery
BBC reported on October 30, 2014 that two workers were injured by a steam leak at the Humber Refinery at 09:30 GMT. Phillips said the pair had been taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield by air ambulance. The company has given no more information on the employees' injuries and said it was offering support and assistance to their families.
October 30, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring at its Wilmington, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The Phillips 66 refinery has two linked facilities about 5 miles apart in Carson and Wilmington.
October 29, 2014: Laurance Shinderman Says Phillips 66 Rail Spur Project is Wrong for San Luis Obispo County
Laurance Shinderman of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed piece in the Cal Coast News on October 29, 2014 that says that Phillips' plan to build a rail spur and a crude oil railcar unloading facility for the Santa Maria Refinery could result in effects that impair adjacent agricultural uses along the UPRR mainline in the event of a derailment and or spill, including the generation of contaminated air emissions, soil and water contamination and increased risk of fire which have the potential to adversely affect adjacent agricultural areas. "Under the new proposal, the Phillips facility will undertake an entirely new method of doing business," writes Shinderman . "In effect, they’re turning over the tables on our citizens, and starting all over again … with a potential disastrous impact on those who live in the county. The fact that Phillips has been a “good neighbor” and taxpayer, has nothing to do with granting them the right to introduce a completely new, different and dangerous way to conduct their operations."
"This project is a heads Phillips wins and tails SLO loses," concludes Shinderman, "because if there were a disaster; who would compensate businesses for their economic loss, or compensate farmers for their land that could be potentially made useless due to the fall out of toxic soot and ash. Are the health, safety and the vitality of San Luis Obispo county worth granting Phillips the go ahead with this project so that they could garner a few extra dollars/barrel from “advantaged” crude? We think not."
October 25, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset at Wood RiverRefinery
Phillips reported a process unit upset at its Wood River refinery in Illinois on Saturday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing said.
October 20, 2014: Chemical Leak Contained at Phillips 66’s Bayway Refinery
Police, firefighters, and a hazmat team responded to a chemical leak at the Infineum plant inside Phillip 66’s Bayway refinery complex in Linden, New Jersey around 8 a.m. EDT Monday on a report of a chemical cloud, Linden authorities said. A 25 percent concentration of ethylaluminum dichloride in a hydrocarbon oil was releasedbut contained within one hour, according to Infineum. Plant employees were ordered to shelter in place until about 9:50 a.m. EDT, as a precautionary measure. No injuries were reported and refinery operations were uninterrupted. Crews that were dispatched to monitor the fenceline and surrounding areas did not detect any odor or hydrocarbon concentrations.
October 20, 2014: Chemical Leak Contained at Phillips 66’s Bayway Refinery
Police, firefighters, and a hazmat team responded to a chemical leak at the Infineum plant inside Phillip 66’s Bayway refinery complex in Linden, New Jersey around 8 a.m. EDT Monday on a report of a chemical cloud, Linden authorities said. A 25 percent concentration of ethylaluminum dichloride in a hydrocarbon oil was releasedbut contained within one hour, according to Infineum. Plant employees were ordered to shelter in place until about 9:50 a.m. EDT, as a precautionary measure. No injuries were reported and refinery operations were uninterrupted. Crews that were dispatched to monitor the fenceline and surrounding areas did not detect any odor or hydrocarbon concentrations.
October 20, 2014: Chemical Leak of Ethylaluminum Dichloride Contained at Bayway Refinery
CBS reported on October 20, 2014 that police, firefighters and a hazmat team responded to the Infineum plant inside the Bayway Refinery Complex around 8:30 a.m. on October 20, 2014 and contained a chemical leak. In a statement on the company’s website, the plant said a 25 percent concentration of ethylaluminum dichloride in a hydrocarbon oil was released and plant employees were ordered to shelter in place. Police said the leak did not pose a threat to the surrounding area. Authorities sent a message to neighbors letting them know to close their doors and windows. “No injuries have been reported, and there is no health or safety impact either at the site or within the community,” said Infineum USA Spokesperson Lissette Gonzalez. “Crews that were dispatched to monitor the fenceline and surrounding areas did not detect any odor or hydrocarbon concentrations.” Ethylaluminum dichloride is a clear, yellow liquid that turns into fumes when it hits the air. It is used as a catalyst to make other chemicals like fuel additives and the chemical can irritate the nose, eyes, skin and throat and is highly flammable and reactive. There is no word on what caused the leak.
October 20, 2014: Ferndale Refinery Is One of the Top Polluters in Whatcom County
The Bellingham Herald reported on October 20, 2014 that Whatcom County's oil refineries were some of the biggest polluters in Washington state last year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Phillips 66 refinery in Ferndale released more than 769,000 tons of carbon dioxide making it the third largest polluter in the County after TransAlta's Centralia Plant (7.5 million metric tons of pollutants) which is scheduled to completely shut down by 2025 under a state law passed in 2011 and British Petroleum's Cherry Point Refinery. A Washington state law requires facilities that emit more than 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year to report their pollution to the state Department of Ecology. Those sources have reported their 2012 emissions to the Department of Ecology. Reports for 2013 emissions are due later this month.
October 16, 2014: Phillips Reports Wet Gas Compressor Failure after Power Blip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a wet gas compressor failure on October 16, 2014 after a power blip at the Wood River Refinery.
October 16, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its Borger, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
October 15, 2014: Air Quality Officials Want Refineries near San Francisco To Cut Emissions By 20 Percent
The Contra Costa Times reported on October 15, 2014 that Bay Area air quality officials want the five Bay Area refineries to cut oil refinery emissions by 20 percent. The refineries include Valero Energy Corp’s 132,000 b/d Benicia, Chevron Corp’s 245,271 b/d Richmond, Tesoro Corp’s 166,000 b/d Martinez, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 156,400 b/d Martinez, and Phillips 66’s 120,200 b/d Rodeo. By a 15-0 vote (with seven members absent), the air board gave its staff marching orders to come up with an emission reduction plan, and approved two related actions. By next spring or earlier, the board said it will consider a new rule to more rigorously determine current baseline emissions for refineries, and then track changes over time. Also by spring, the board said it will consider a rule barring refineries from increasing emissions as a result of equipment changes or modernizations. "This is a way to improve the lives of communities around refineries," said Marilyn Bardet of Benicians for a Healthy and Safe Community.
Guy Bjerke, Bay Area manager of the Western States Petroleum Association, said the district is wrong to consider any reduction target before it has completed its new inventory of emissions at the five refineries. "The reductions must be based on sound science, not on speculation," Bjerke said. Industry lawyers also said the district has no evidence that a 20 percent cut would improve public health.
October 14, 2014: Bomb Scare at Alliance Refinery Was Only a PVC Pipe
The Times-Picayune reported on October 14, 2014 that a bomb scare at a Alliance Refinery on October 14, 2014 brought an FBI bomb expert to the scene, who quickly determined the suspicious object was simply a PVC pipe with putty and duct tape on the end used as a marker by a sub-contractor. The three-inch long PVC pipe, later found to contain a two-inch in diameter ball bearing, "is commonly used by a refinery subcontractor as a marker while taking X-rays," according to the Plaquemines Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's office spokesman said the refinery did not need to be evacuated and production was not affected.
October 10, 2014: New Study Assesses Risk of Oil Spill at Santa Maria Refinery if Proposed Rail Project is Approved
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on October 10, 2014 that a new study has assessed three rail routes to Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery and found the project could significantly impact public safety if a crude oil spill results in a fire or explosion near a populated area. An analysis estimated the average incident rate of a release of 100 gallons or more of oil from a train traveling between the Phillips 66 refinery and rail yards in Roseville or Colton would be once every 46 years to 76 years, depending on the route. The probability of an oil release anywhere along the entire rail line in California would be greater — estimated at once every 19 years to 31 years. But explosions are considered unlikely with a 100-gallon spill. “While the exact route the trains would take to get to these two rail yards is speculative, all of the routes within and outside of California would traverse populated areas that could be impacted in the event of a release that resulted in a fire or explosion,” the report states.
The report also found that trains would be traveling about 3 miles per hour on the Phillips 66 property, so it’s unlikely they could be hit hard enough to result in a spill. The hazard impacts at the refinery were found to be less than significant, according to the draft report. No crude oil or refined product would be transported out of the refinery by rail. Also, no Bakken crude will be delivered to the refinery as part of the project — a response to concerns that light crude oil from the Bakken region in North Dakota may be more volatile than other crudes. The risk would also be substantially lowered by using the safest tank car design available, which could reduce the probability of an oil spill by about 74 percent, according to the report.
October 9, 2014: Phillips Reports Pipeline Leak at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a diesel spill on October 9, 2014 from a pipeline leak at its Wood River, Illinois, refinery, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
September 30, 2014: Some Residents Oppose Phillips Bringing More Oil Trains to Santa Maria Refinery
KSBY reported on September 30, 2014 that Phillips wants to add 44,000 feet of track on the property near the Santa Maria Refinery and begin bringing in up to five trains with 80 railcars per train to transport crude oil. Phillips hosted an open house on September 30, 2014 about the project so locals could ask questions and share their concerns about the proposal. A spokesperson for the Phillips 66 Refinery says the proposed rail project is solely on their property, and claims it would not be an issue for people who live nearby. "The entire project will be on Phillips 66 property here at the refinery," says James Anderson, Superintendent of the Santa Maria Refinery. "The project does not increase any intake and throughput of the refinery and it would be a way for us to obtain crude oil from additional sources throughout the United States."
People who live near the refinery say they are still concerned. "They are not going to be doing anything to reduce the harm that they are going to create for the people here who will be breathing this," says Marty Akel, Nipomo resident and member of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group. "We have a rail terminal with all the noise pollution of diesel trains, coupling and uncoupling all the time, the air pollution, the light pollution, they will be destroying the atmosphere over here." Akel lives in the Trilogy estates at Monarch Dunes. He and his neighbors say they are outraged at the proposed project at the Santa Maria Refinery, that if approved, would be viewable from their backyard. "I wouldn't want to live in their backyard, and I do live here. It is just not a good thing." says Amy Hedges. "The ocean is out there, Trilogy is right here, you can see how close it is. It is going to be a tremendous burden for everyone up in the Mesa."
September 25, 2014: Garland Places Ethics and Safety at the Top of His List
The Daily Cougar reported on September 25, 2014 that Garland spoke to students on September 23, 2014 at the Bauer College of Business about the importance of ethical responsibility in the business world and the place of responsible, socially conscious decisions in modern commercial enterprise as part of the school’s ongoing “Distinguished Leaders Program." “You’ve got to have high standards if you’re going to be ethical. It has to start at the very top,” Garland said. “(I) fundamentally disagree with people who say that energy companies can’t be good corporate citizens … I think that good ethics makes for good business.” Garland stressed that aside from being the responsible and morally correct decision, good ethical business and environmental safety is also profitable long-term. “We have people who invest literally billions of dollars in our company, and I want them to know they’re investing in safety,” Garland said. “One major accident can absolutely devastate shareholder value.” Garland also offered some words of encouragement to UH students entering the energy industry. “Your education is actually just the launching pad for a lifetime and career of learning in this industry,” Garland said. “And if you’re at the top of your class, I want to talk to you after the show.”
September 24, 2014: Phillips Reports Unit Upset During Startup at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported unit 45 experienced a process upset during startup and emissions from a gas oil hydrodesulphurizer flare at its Borger, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
September 14, 2014: Are the Cities Near the Ferndale Refinery Prepared for an Oil Train Derailment?
Samantha Wohlfeil provided an in-depth report in the Bellingham Herland on September 14, 2014 on how prepared the cities near the Ferndale Refinery are for an oil train derailment. "If a train hauling more than 100 cars of highly volatile crude oil were to derail in Bellingham, would the city be prepared?" writes Wohlfeil. "What if it instead left the tracks near Ferndale, or rural Custer, or along Chuckanut Drive, where an accident only feet from the water might be nearly impossible for first responders to reach from land?" According to Kent Catlin, deputy director of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, the question is complex and may not have a simple answer. “Any event like this will overwhelm any jurisdiction and exhaust its resources,” said Catlin. “All of us operate at a bare bones of what we need because it doesn’t make sense to have more staff than needed.”
When faced with an event like a derailment, first responders have to decide whether to fight or surround the problem, depending on available resources and the size and intensity of any fire or spill, said Roger Christensen, Bellingham’s interim emergency manager and recently retired fire chief. “If you’re faced with an event you can’t do anything about, you have to decide how to protect what’s around it,” Christensen said. With millions of gallons of potential combustible material on each train, if a fiery accident were to occur, even the most prepared communities might just have to sit back and watch it burn because most fire departments carry small amounts of firefighting foam that can be used to contain fuel and keep vapors from getting into the air. “Even with a lot of foam you may not be able to put that fire out,” says Patrick Brady, BNSF director of Hazardous Materials Special Operations. “Plus, it’s better to consume the oil in that fire rather than put it out and now it’ll get into the river, or in a populated area like Seattle it’ll get into the storm drains.”
September 4, 2014: Phillips Reports Unit Shutdown at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported a unit shutdown led to carbon monoxide emissions on September 4, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
September 1, 2014: One Year After Cleanup, DCP Midstream Oil Spill Still Causes Concern
Phil Cross reported at Fox25 on September 1, 2014 that more than a year after an oil spill from an abandoned pipeline owned by DCP Midstream, the landowners say they are still fighting to get it cleaned up. Records indicate DCP hired a company to perform the clean-up of the creek and the OCC document says the state ordered work to be completed by July 15, 2013. The people who own the land just downstream from the spill say that cleanup effort failed. “It should be nice clean water to water the cattle and fertilize the hay and the blackberries in the area,” says Spencer city councilwoman Tonni Canaday who told Fox 25 the town was not notified oil was spilled in Spencer Creek. “I couldn't, in good conscious, put cattle on here right now.”
The issue, the landowners say, is that any slight movement in the water stirs up a glossy sheen. They claim it is residual oil left from the initial spill. Records from the OCC indicated the pipeline spilled about a barrel of oil, but the company only recovered half a barrel of material. The landowners invited Fox 25 to visit the creek this summer, more than a year after the spill and eight months after the final cleanup was deemed complete. On our visit the landowner stirred the creek and a glossy sheen appeared on the water. A soil sample dug from the bottom of the creek revealed a strong odor of oil and was greasy to the touch. “There is absolutely a problem,” Canaday says, “And to each of those people that we've had come out and say it's not that big of a problem; we haven't seen anybody take a drink or take a bottle of water out of there themselves.” The corporation commission says DCP has been willing to do anything they've been asked and that company has voluntarily helped with the cleanup and containment of other pipeline spills they were not responsible for in the past.
August 24, 2014: Rodeo Refinery Unaffected by August 24 Earthquake
The five crude oil refineries in the San Francisco Bay area said their operations were unaffected by Sunday morning’s 6.0 magnitude earthquake. The refineries include Valero Energy Corp’s 132,000 b/d Benicia, Chevron Corp’s 245,271 b/d Richmond, Tesoro Corp’s 166,000 b/d Martinez, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 156,400 b/d Martinez, and Phillips 66’s 120,200 b/d Rodeo.
August 21, 2014: Four Injured in DCP Midstream Pipeline Fire
NewOK reported on August 21, 2014 that fourworkers were injured in Garvin County in a fire while a crew was performing maintenance on a natural gas pipeline operated by DCP Midstream, a 50 percent joint venture between Phillips and Spectra Energy. The natural gas line fire was quickly extinguished and the workers were taken to the hospital in Lindsay, where they were treated and released. DCP reported the incident to the proper regulatory authorities and will investigate further on its own to determine what happened.
August 20, 2014: Phillips Report Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported a flaring event at its refinery in Wilmington, California, caused the release of chemical substance, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The refinery has two linked facilities about five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington. The former processes crude oil while the latter upgrades the products.
August 17, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Snag at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported a utility steam interruption and excess opacity in the FCC flue gas scrubber stack on August 17 and sulfur recovery unit (SRU) emissions on August 15, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency.
August 10, 2014: Phillips Reports FCCU Shut at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported its unit 29 fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) was shut to repair process piping at its Borger, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The work began on Sunday and was expected to end on August 25.
August 5, 2014: Phillips 66’s Borger Refinery Returns to Normal Rates
Phillips returned the 62,000 b/d crude unit at its Borger, Texas refinery to normal rates on Tuesday after heater issues a week earlier, according to an IIR Energy report. The 30,000 b/d fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), which was also operating at reduced rates during the repairs, returned to run at normal rates, IIR added. All units at the plant were operational as of late afternoon on Tuesday, IIR said. A spokesman for the company said planned maintenance work was underway at the refinery, but declined to provide details regarding specific units involved and the duration of the work.
August 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Small Leak Contained at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a small valve leak that was contained on August 1 at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services.
July 30, 2014: Chevron Phillips Chemical Plant in Port Arthur Remains Closed After Fire
The Houston Chronicle reported on July 30, 2014 that during the second quarter conference call, company officials at Phillips said that the Chevron Phillips Chemical plant in Port Arthur remains closed after a fire injured several workers on July 7 and that it's too early to know when it might reopen. Garland did not elaborate on a recent fire in July at a Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC plant in Port Arthur that involved injuries, but he did say the facility should not be shut down for much longer. "There's no reason for that unit to be down for a prolonged period of time," said Garland.
July 25, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Equipment Failure at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an unspecified equipment failure on Friday at its Wood River refinery in Illinois, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not mention if the event hurt regular refinery operations or affected production.
July 16, 2014: Phillips Cuts Unit Rates Due to Power Blip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported power to both flare gas recovery compressors was lost due an electrical failure causing the flare gas recovery system to shutdown. Power was quickly restored, and a safe and controlled restart of the flare gas recovery compressors was conducted. Units were operated at reduced rates during the outage in order to reduce the amount of flaring. 
July 16, 2014: Phillips 66 Restarts Santa Maria Refinery after Power Outage
Phillips 66 said power loss at its Santa Maria, California, refinery was only temporary and was quickly restored. 
July 8, 2014: Investigation Begins into Fire at Port Arthur Chemical Plant that Injured Two Workers
Mary Meaux reported at The Port Arthur News on July 8, 2014 that an investigation into the cause of the fire at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company that injured two workers is underway less than 24 hours after the incident. “A team of experts from other Chevron Phillips Chemical facilities has been assembled and has begun the investigation to determine the root cause of the incident,” according to a press release from David Hastings, public affairs manager at Chevron Phillips. The localized fire occurred at the Port Arthur facility at about 8 pm on July 7. The chemical company’s fire response team handled the fire while Port Arthur Fire Department remained on standby with equipment and manpower should it be needed, said Port Arthur Police Maj. John Owens. “The fire chief (Larry Richard) and I went in and were part of their emergency operations center to assist them in decision making and operations should they need outside assistance and to ensure the public and community that we had someone inside the EOC to look at it from the community’s side,” Owens said.
Independent air monitoring throughout the night to ensure the community was safe. “The continuous monitoring picked up zero readings,” said Owens. “We do this any time there is an incident. It is protocol for the fire department’s hazardous response team to perform independent monitoring.”
July 8, 2014: Representative Hahn Sends Letter to State Fire Marshal about Phillips Violations After Wilmington Oil Spill
Zamná Ávila reported at Random Length News on July 8, 2014 that Representative Janice Hahn sent a letter to California Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover with regards to the Phillips 66 violations in a recent oil spill requesting an update on the office’s progress in citing Phillips 66 for federal law violations. “The 1,200 gallon oil spill in Wilmington placed the health of hundreds in danger due to a failure to follow federal law regarding pipeline safety,” Hahn wrote. “The families of Wilmington remain uncompensated for the destruction of their property, and the federal government is unable to act until your office cites the company for wrongdoing.” Hahn expressed her disappointment that Phillips 66 had not yet been cited.
July 8, 2014: Phillips Applies for Permits for Six Injection Wells Near Brazoria, Texas
Friends of the River reported on July 5, 2014 that Phillips has applied to the Railroad Commission of Texas for a permit to dispose of produced salt water, brine or other oil and gas waste by well injection into a porous formation not productive of oil or gas on on the San Bernard River near Brazoria, Texas. A group of 31 people attended a meeting on July 8, concerning the proposed action of of six disposal wells being drilled during the upcoming year at the Phillips 66 Clemens Field on the San Bernard River. In answer to the question of what was going to be injected into the wells, only the salt water, brine, produced from “washing” an underground salt cavern will be injected in the disposal wells. Oil and gas waste will not be injected into the wells. The water used in this process is to come from a Phillips 66 pipeline of recycled effluent water and not pumped out of the San Bernard. In Texas, disposal wells are regulated by the Railroad Commission.
July 7, 2014: Two Workers Injured in Fire at Port Arthur Chemical Plant
Plastics News reported on July 15, 2014 that two workers were injured in a fire in a ethylene/propylene unit at the at a Chevron Phillips Chemical Plant in Port Arthur. No cause for the fire was given in a July 9 statement from Chevron Phillips. The statement added that the injured workers remained hospitalized. “We regret very deeply that this event has occurred. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and their families. We ask for your patience as we manage the response to the incident,” said Margie Conway, plant manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical. “We will communicate additional information when it can be confirmed.”
The Port Arthur plant has almost 1.8 billion pounds of annual ethylene capacity and 1.1 billion pounds of annual propylene capacity. Chevron Phillips has declared force majeure production limits on that material after the fire. Phillips Chevron officials said that reviews are underway to determine when the unaffected areas of the plant can be restarted, and that no timetable has been set for restart of the area affected by the incident.
July 14, 2014: Phillips Reports Loss of Steam at Carson Refinery
Phillips reported its Carson, California, refinery experienced loss of steam resulting in flaring. The refinery has two linked facilities about five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington, California. Reuters, 11:54 July 14, 2014 
July 7, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Carson Refinery
Phillips reported RP states high sulfur in fuel gas resulted in excess of RQ for SOC (500 LBS in a 24-hour period), according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. 
July 4, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports FCCU Normal after Feed Cut at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Sweeny refinery in Texas was brought back to normal operations after feed was stopped due to a pump malfunction, a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality showed. Feed was stopped to FCCU 3 due to the loss of a feed pump motor at an adjacent process unit, the filing said, adding that the feed rate was resumed following repairs on the pump. 
July 4, 2014: Phillips to Shut Most Units for Repair at Borger Refinery Over July 4 Weekend
Phillips said it would shut most of the production units at its refinery in Borger, Texas, over the July Fourth weekend to start a month of repairs following a power outage early this week, said sources familiar with operations at the refinery. The company had already been planning to shut the refinery’s 25,000 b/d delayed coking unit over the weekend for a three-week overhaul, sources told Reuters. Trade sources have said the refinery was planning a multi-unit overhaul this month to correct operational problems created by the power outage. 
July 1, 2014: Phillips Continues Working to Restart Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips said it was still working to restart its Santa Maria, California refinery following a power outage on July 16.
June 27, 2014: Phillips Reports Hydrogen Plant Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported the hydrogen plant went down on June 27 at its Rodeo, California, refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa County Health Services. 
June 12, 2014: Fire Crew Extinguishes Blaze in Crude Unit at Billings Refinery
The Billings Gazette reported on June 12, 2014 that a fire broke out at the large crude unit at the Billings Refinery at about 1:45 that was extinguished in about 15 minutes by on-site personnel. According to Phillips spokesman Travis Sloane, no one was injured in the fire and employees have been dispatched off-site while air quality is measured There does not appear to be any environmental harm as a result of the fire.
June 11, 2014: Phillips Shuts CRU, VDU at Billings Refinery Due to Crude Unit Fire
A fire in the crude unit at Phillips 66’s refinery in Billings, Montana, on Wednesday forced the company to shut two major units for an indefinite period of time. The 38,000 b/d catalytic reforming unit (CRU) and 35,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit (VDU) were shut down on Wednesday afternoon, according to research company Genscape. Late Wednesday Phillips said it had a fire in the large crude unit, which had been extinguished onsite by emergency response personnel. It provided no estimate on the duration of the closure. 
June 6, 2014: Phillips Reports FCCU Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported an air blower turbine shutdown was causing emissions from its coker and fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its Sweeny refinery in Texas on Friday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. Energy intelligence firm Genscape had reported a brief flaring was observed at the refinery on Thursday. 
June 4, 2014: County Supervisors Order More Environmental Study for Rodeo Refinery Expansion
Jean Tepperman reported at the East Bay Express on June 4, 2014 that Contra Costa residents and environmentalists fighting pollution from oil refineries scored two wins at the board of supervisors as county supervisors voted to send a proposal by Phillips 66 for a new project at its Rodeo refinery back for another round of environmental review. The previous environmental impact report (EIR) of the Phillips 66 proposal — to construct new storage tanks for propane and butane — was “flawed,” explained Catherine Kutsuris, director of the Department of Conservation and Development. Many comments from community residents, as well as a letter from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, pointed out that the original EIR failed to address the “cumulative impacts” of the Phillips 66 proposal together with other local oil industry projects.
According to Tepperman, refinery workers packed the chamber and spoke in support of the Phillips 66 project, while members of local groups such as Crockett Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE), along with representatives of environmental organizations, supported the recommendation to revise and re-circulate the EIR. At the invitation of Supervisor Federal Glover, Larry Silva, manager of health and safety at the Phillips 66 plant, described the environmental benefits of the project, including lowering sulfur dioxide emissions and the potential for flaring. He said other projects have not had to do a cumulative health impact and asked for fair treatment.
June 3, 2014: Rodeo Refinery Propane Recovery Project Delayed Again Over Environmental Impact
Rick Jones reported on the Martinez News-Gazette on June 3, 2014 that Contra Costa County officials want to recirculate the environmental impact report (EIR) for the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery propane and butane recovery project that calls for the installation of new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning it as fuel at the refinery or flaring off excesses. The project would reduce emissions of several pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, the refinery has said. Appeals, by Communities for a Better Environment and the Rodeo Citizens Association, contend the report understates potential impacts of the project and warn that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier crude oil. Phillips has described those contentions as incorrect and speculative.
June 1, 2014: Phillips Says Operations Normal at Santa Maria Refinery After Steam Power Plant Shutdown
Phillips on Sunday said its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, resumed normal operations late Friday following the shutdown of the site’s steam power plant. The shutdown occurred due to a process upset, the company said. The company reported an unspecified process upset at the refinery on Friday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. 
June 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a unit upset led to flaring at its Rodeo refinery in northern California on June 1, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services.
May 26, 2014: Phillips Reports Ammonia Release at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported release of anhydrous ammonia at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, on Monday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not specify whether the event had an impact on production.
May 22, 2014: Update: Phillips 66 Resumes Operations at Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips 66 said Thursday that operations at its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, resumed following an unplanned shutdown due to a power outage May 20. 
May 21, 2014: Update: Phillips Working to Restart Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips said it was working to restart its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, Wednesday, following an unplanned shutdown caused by a power outage May 20. 
May 20, 2014: Thirty-Eight Organizations Join Forces To Oppose Proposed Oil Pipeline to Bayway Refinery
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported on May 20, 2014 that a coalition of 38 organizations from New York and New Jersey has called on Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo to oppose the proposed 150-mile oil pipeline between Albany, NY and Phillips' Bayway Refinery in Linden, NJ. “Putting the Pilgrim Pipeline through one of the most densely populated areas in the country is an accident waiting to happen, given how volatile Bakken shale oil is,” said Jeff Tittel, director of New Jersey’s Sierra Club chapter and the leader of the teleconference. “Even worse is having this pipeline pass through major water supply rivers” in northern New Jersey’s Highlands region, Tittel added. “This is playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.”
George Bochis, vice president of development for Pilgrim, said the company is “disappointed that these groups are opposing the project without meeting with us. We would be happy to meet to provide additional information. “We are surprised that these groups prefer the status quo when this project could provide a safer, more environmentally friendly and efficient means to transport these products."
May 13, 2014: Phillips Reports Several Minor Units Shut at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported several minor unspecified units were shut due to a brief power disruption at its Rodeo refinery in northern California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not mention whether the shutdowns affected production or regular operations at the refinery. There were no offsite consequences and the refinery has stabilized, the filing added. 
May 8, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset led to emissions at its Borger, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Thursday. The filing with did not specify which refinery units were involved in the incident. 
May 4, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its Borger, Texas refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The incident on Sunday led to emissions from the unit 40 fluid catalytic cracking unit, the filing said. 
May 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring at Santa Maria Refinery
Phillips said its Santa Maria refinery experienced a process upset at the site’s steam power plant, resulting in an unscheduled shutdown of the unit. As a result, fuel gas was directed to the refinery’s flare, resulting in visible flaring.
April 27, 2014: Phillips Reports Feed, Equipment Issues at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported feed and equipment issues at its joint-venture Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The incident on Sunday led to flaring and the release was continuing, the filing made public on Monday said. 
April 25, 2014: Phillips Promises Not to Bring Bakken Crude to Santa Maria Refinery
Cynthia Lambert reported in the San Luis Obispo Tribune that Phillips 66 officials said this week that they would not accept any light crude oil from the Bakken region as part of a proposed rail project at the Santa Maria refinery. In a past interview, company officials said rail shipments to the refinery might include a small amount of oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota or Canada — a plan that raised alarm, as there’s concern that Bakken oil might be more volatile than other crudes. “We told the county to put it right in the project description that we will not receive Bakken crude,” said Jim Anderson, project manager for the rail spur proposal.
Some opponents said that their concerns remain despite any promises about the type of crude oil coming by rail into the county. “Regardless of the type of oil, the trains coming through here are a bad idea,” said Martin Akel. Members of the Mesa Refinery Watch group say Phillips 66’s proposal would dramatically transform its business model locally by creating a new, high-intensity operation with 250 more oil-hauling trains traveling through the county and significantly increasing the potential for accidents. “The bottom line — their claim of running out of crude to deliver by pipeline and the threat of lost jobs is a red herring,” the group wrote in a draft position paper. “The company simply wants to change the types of crude they refine in Nipomo, because they’re far more profitable.”
April 18, 2014: Phillips Reports Small Gasoline Leak at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips reported a gasoline leak from a pipeline at its Rodeo, California, refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. About 2–3 barrels of gasoline were released within the refinery and the leak was contained, the filing said. 
April 16, 2014: Health and Safety Specialists at Santa Maria Refinery Claim They Were Punished for Unionizing
Colin Rigley reported at the New Times on April 16, 2014 that health and safety specialists at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery allege Phillips officials warned them in January, 2012 that if they joined the United Steelworkers Union they would lose hours, be stripped of managerial powers, and as many as three of them could lose their jobs. “The insinuation here was that, ‘We may not need all of you,’” one of the specialists said in a written statement submitted to the labor board.
When the newly unionized group went to the bargaining table in December, 2012, the specialists say in a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board that Phillips management carried out its threats. Phillips' proposed contract on December 10, 2012 allegedly included the threatened reductions of hours and responsibilities. The refinery’s health and safety specialists serve as organizers of the plant’s emergency response crew. Though none of the health and safety specialists was fired, three of them were transferred from their primary roles into regular plant operations, according to the complaint. The union is seeking to recover lost wages for the health and safety specialists, and to have their original job functions restored. Those lost wages totaled as much as $17,000 per year for some employees. In its complaint, the union further alleges that Phillips 66 bargained in bad faith when it imposed the 2012 contract.
Phillips 66, in its responses to the union’s complaint, said the company reduced the five health and safety specialists to two as part of regular staffing changes, and the job functions were distributed across other personnel. “There is no value more important in our company than ensuring the safety of everyone who works at our sites as well as the safety of our neighboring communities,” Phillips spokesman Dennis Nuss said in a written statement to New Times. “In 2012, Phillips 66 redistributed certain safety-related functions and responsibilities among personnel at the Santa Maria Refinery, and there were no staff reductions. These changes have helped maintain and improve the refinery’s high standards for safety performance.”
In addition to the reduced contract for health and safety specialists, the union alleges that the company violated federal labor laws when it implemented “news media guidelines” in October 2012. Those guidelines instructed employees not to speak to news media and, “It is against company policy for anyone but an authorized company spokespersons [sic] to speak to the news media.” The company defends its policy as a routine business practice that violated no labor laws.
April 16, 2014: Candidates for County Supervisor Spar Over Plan to Move Crude Oil to Santa Maria Refinery by Rail
David Sneed reported in The Tribune on April 16, 2014 that the three candidates running for District 4 County Supervisor faced off in a forum at Nipomo High School, sparring – sometimes testily – over a variety of issues including the proposed rail spur at the Phillips 66 refinery to deliver crude oil from new sources. Real estate broker Mike Byrd took the firmest stance, saying he does not like the idea of oil being imported into the county in rail cars because it poses too many safety issues. “I have a problem with the idea that this is going to be allowed,” Byrd said, adding that a way should be found to pipe the oil into the refinery. Appointed incumbent Caren Ray said it is unethical of Byrd to take a hard-nosed position on the matter before it comes before the Board of Supervisors and said she is working to make sure that the environmental impacts and other issues associated with the project are dealt with. Lynn Compton said the project has its pros and cons but pointed out that the refinery is a source of good jobs in the district. “They are a good neighbor and a benefit to the community,” she said, adding that the county’s permitting of the project is unfolding as it should.
April 4, 2014: Hearing on Rodeo Refinery Project Postponed until May 13
The Contra Costa Times reported on April 4, 2014 that a public hearing on a propane-and-butane recovery project at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo was postponed by Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to May 13. New equipment would enable the refinery to recover propane and butane instead of using it as fuel in its boilers or burning off excesses in a process called flaring, the company argued. It added it does not need to refine heavier crudes to make the project work. Opponents of the project argued the environmental report does not adequately study many of the project's potential impacts and it overstates the baseline amounts of propane and butane currently produced at the refinery. They also warned that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier oil. Phillips 66, characterizing many of the appellants' objections as speculative and based on incorrect assumptions, asserted the project would reduce emissions of the pollutant sulfur dioxide. Moreover, Phillips 66 said, there are no restrictions on the kinds of crude the refinery can process now or in the future.
March 28, 2014: Santa Maria Rail Extension Project Reopened for Public Comment
The Contra Costa Times reported on March 28, 2014 that an environmental report for a rail expansion project at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery that some East Bay residents fear could bring highly flammable, light crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Canada through their communities will be reissued and subjected to a new round of public comment. This week, the Berkeley and Richmond city councils voted unanimously to oppose the transport of crude oil by rail through the East Bay, adding to a large body of commentary previously submitted during the draft report's initial public comment period. Murry Wilson, environmental resource specialist for the San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building, said his agency decided to recirculate the draft report due to the large volume and nature of comments received. Phillips 66 spokesman Dean Acosta said this week the Santa Maria refinery is "configured to run the heavier California crudes," but he stopped short of saying the refinery would not receive Bakken crude.
March 26, 2014: Phillips Pays $500,000 Fine for Clean Air Violations at Five Refineries
CSP Daily News reported on March 26, 2014 that Phillips will pay a $500,000 penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act at the Sweeny Refinery in Old Ocean, Texas, the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La., the Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Ill., the Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, La., the Borger Refinery in Borger, Texas, and several terminals across the country. Phillips also agreed to retire more than 21 billion sulfur credits that could have been used in the production of gasoline, which could potentially lead to significantly less pollution from vehicles. In a administrative settlement agreement, the EPA alleged that the company generated invalid sulfur credits between 2006 and 2012 and that Phillips failed to comply with recordkeeping, reporting, sampling and testing requirements at the five refineries. EPA discovered these violations during facility inspections and through a review of company records, which included the results of third-party company audits required by the Clean Air Act.
March 24, 2014: Mesa Refinery Watch Group Says Explosive Risks Far Outweigh Benefits at Santa Maria Refinery
Linda Reynolds, the Chairperson for the Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on March 24, 2014 that says that Phillips "revamped corporate business model is to maximize profits by turning our nation’s rail lines into inherently unsafe “tank car pipelines” to take advantage of the new flood of lower-cost Canadian tar sands 1 and domestic fracked crude oils." According to Reynolds instead of bringing in crude by pipeline, Phillips proposes to bring half-billion gallons (488,000,000) of crude per year to the Santa Maria Refinery, via 20,800 rail tank cars and that the tank cars may very well contain Bakken crude — the explosive crude that has destroyed lives, property and the environment in towns across the U.S. and Canada. "We believe the vastly increased risks that this proposal brings to the citizens and businesses throughout SLO County and the Central Coast are unacceptable," concludes Reynolds. "The risks of massive explosions, fires, oil spills, and air, noise, odor and light pollution, enormously outweigh the benefits the plan bestows on an individual business entity — that is, Phillips 66. Any honest risk, benefit analysis would lead to that conclusion."
March 24, 2014: Phillips Reports Compressors Trip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported two compressors tripped because of a low lube oil pressure shutdown at its Sweeny refinery in Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The refinery operators were working to get the compressors back online, the filing said. 
March 23, 2014: Phillips Reports Reformer Start-up at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a start-up at steam methane reformer (SMR) on Sunday at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. Phillips had reported a process unit upset at the refinery on Thursday.
March 18, 2014: Three Workers Injured in Hydrofluric Acid Unit at Borger Refinery
Channel 7 Amarillo reported on March 18, 2014 that two Phillips employees and a contractor were injured in an accident at Borger refinery that took place at about 5 pm on March 18, 2014. The injured were taken to Golden Plains Community Hospital to receive medical treatment and the condition of the individuals is not life threatening. One employee is at Golden Plains Community Hospital, the second has been transported to the Lubbock Burn Center, and the contract worker is under observation at Golden Plains Community Hospital. Scanner traffic indicated the injured had been exposed to hydrogen sulfide. Phillips is investigating the incident.
According to the "Borger News-Herald" the incident occurred during turnaround at the unit that handles hydrofluric (HF) acid. The hydrofluric acid unit was shut down at the time the accident occurred. Phillips did not confirm the exact nature of the incident. Phillips is investigating the cause and implications of the incident and details are still being clarified as the influx of turnaround workers has increased traffic inside the plant. "We want to figure out exactly what happened," said Dennis Nuss, a Senior Advisor for Phillips 66 who works with Project Communications. "We want to make sure that something similar will not happen again." When asked if the incident was due to either a chemical exposure or a fire, Nuss said, "There was no fire." The Borger News-Herald is reaching out to contract companies and contractors for more information and will update the story as more information is released.
March 18, 2014: Crack in Idle Phillips Pipeline Spews Crude Oil onto Wilmington Streets
The Wilmington Press-Telegrapm reported on March 18, 2014 that a crack in an idle Phillips oil pipeline, possibly caused by this week’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake, spewed thousands of gallons of crude oil onto a residential street in Wilmington. “After a thorough investigation of the source, we can confirm the leak is coming from an idle pipeline owned by Phillips 66,” said Phillips spokeswoman Monica Silva. “We are working to stop the leak and have recovered approximately 30 barrels of oil. Clean-up efforts continue.” Silva declined to elaborate on why the unused 10-inch pipeline was filled with crude oil. Normally, when a pipeline is not being used, oil companies will fill it with concrete slurry. However, if they think they may want to use the line again, they try to keep it viable. In this case, the oil may have been stored in the line to keep it from corroding or collapsing, fire officials said. Silva said oil company officials will not say more about the issue until Wednesday.
Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, visited the site on Tuesday out of “concern for the safety and well-being of the residents of Wilmington,” she said in a statement. “The harsh, crude oil smell is not only horrible, but can also be potentially harmful to the neighborhood residents and environment.” “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, I plan to make this oil spill incident a priority,” Hahn said. “I have already reached out to the subcommittee to find out what federal actions we can take to ensure that an incident like this will not happen again, and that there is proper oversight with our nation’s pipelines. County Hazardous Materials Specialist Don Miguel Ellis said that Phillips 66 officials were developing a plan Tuesday afternoon to remove the rest of the oil and clean and repair the area. “It’s a significant spill in a public area,” Ellis said. “But health risks are minimal.”
Phillips, which earlier in the day said it was almost positive that it was not to blame for the leak, later took responsibility and put the blame on one of its out-of-service pipes. Janet Grothe, a spokeswoman for Phillips 66, said the company would investigate why oil remained in the pipe, which she said was taken out of service before Phillips 66 acquired it. Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino, who was touring the area, said the pipe had been withdrawn from service in 1998. Don Ellis, a hazardous-materials specialist with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said that when an underground oil pipeline is withdrawn from use, it is supposed to be capped and the material inside vacuumed out. Although Phillips initially thought the pipe didn't belong to the firm, the company was involved in the cleanup early on "as a good neighbor," Grothe said adding that Phillips' crews would steam clean the street and that repairs would be completed in a week.
March 14, 2014: Phillips Santa Maria Rail Spur Meeting Draws 150 Critics
The Santa Maria Times reported on March 14, 2014 that 150 people attended an afternoon town hall meeting to discuss the Phillips' Santa Maria rail project that would allow tank cars to deliver crude oil to the Santa Maria Refinery. When an audience member asked how many in the audience opposed the project, virtually everyone raised a hand. When San Luis Obispo County 4th District Supervisor Caren Ray asked how many supported it, not one hand went up. Ray told the crowd that the County Planning Department “was simply overwhelmed” by 800 public comments about the draft Environmental Impact Report. The meeting started with a Powerpoint presentation by Art Herbon of the Mesa Watch steering committee outlining the project and why the group opposes it. Reasons cited by Herbon and, later, audience members included noise, air quality, dust, odors, visual and economic impacts plus the explosive danger of Bakken crude oil. “We support Phillips 66 in its efforts to increase profits and provide jobs, but not at any cost ...,” Herbon said following his presentation.
The draft Environmental Impact Report says the primary source of crude oil in the shipments would be the Bakken oil formation in South Dakota, which opponents find alarming. Bakken crude was involved in the explosions and fires Dec. 30 when two trains collided in South Dakota, prompting the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a warning that Bakken crude might be more flammable than other types. Bakken crude not only carries more hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic and flammable, but also more explosive butane and propane gases. Ray said Phillips 66 officials told her they would change the draft EIR so Bakken would not be the primary source but would not eliminate it entirely. That’s because Bakken crude could be delivered by “manifest trains” that would haul tank cars as well as other types of cargo, she said.
March 10, 2014: Phillips Fined $239k for Air Quality Violations at Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009
Denis Cuff reported in the Contra Costa Times that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced on March 10, 2014 that it had reached a civil settlement with Phillips for the payment of $230,900 in air pollution penalties for 19 air quality violations at their Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009 that included late or missed flare gas samples, failure to install and inspect required emission controls on the wastewater system, and operating a storage tank while control valves were open.The refinery also exceeded hydrogen sulfide limits in fuel gas. "The air district has the responsibility to ensure that refineries operate their facilities in full compliance of air quality regulations to protect the health of local residents," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer. "Any violation of these regulations, no matter how minor, will not be tolerated." Officials at Phillips said the company had disclosed most of the violations to the air district and fixed the problems quickly. "We continue to make improvements in our procedures, training and monitoring to minimize if not eliminate the likelihood of recurrence," said Janet Grothe, a spokeswoman for Phillips.
March 5, 2014: Phillips Repairing Equipment at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported that it’s repairing unspecified equipment at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. 
March 5, 2014: Bakken Crude in Exploding Oil Trains May Contain Too Much Propane
Marcus Stern and Sebastian Jones report on Bloomberg that as federal regulators continue investigating why tank cars on three trains carrying North Dakota crude oil have exploded in the past eight months, energy experts say part of the problem might be that some producers are deliberately leaving too much propane in their product, making the oil riskier to transport by rail]. Sweet light crude from the Bakken Shale formation has long been known to be especially rich in volatile natural gas liquids like propane and while there's no way to completely eliminate natural gas liquids from crude, well operators are supposed to use separators at the wellhead to strip out gases before shipping the oil. The worry is that some producers are adjusting the pressure settings to leave in substantial amounts of natural gas liquids and purposefully selling their crude "fluffed up" with propane to maximize their profits. "There is a strong suspicion that a number of producers are cheating. They generally want to simply fill up the barrel and sell it—and there are some who are not overly worried about quality," says Alan J. Troner. "I suspect that some are cheating and this is a suspicion that at least some refiners share." As an oil train shakes, rattles and rolls toward the refinery, the propane begins to separate from the liquid and turning into gas. If one of those cars ruptures, the propane gas inside will likely make contact with outside air. If the gas is ignited—perhaps by a spark thrown off when the car rips open or maybe a spark thrown up from steel wheels scraping over steel tracks—the car can explode. Then the burning car can act like a blowtorch on the tanker next to it and at that point, railcars can explode in domino fashion.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued a safety alert that recent derailments and resulting fires indicate that the type of crude oil being transported from the Bakken region may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil. "It's typical of this type of oil. So it's not surprising. There's no mystery to it… especially if it were in a tanker not meant to carry that type of fluid," says Ramanan Krishnamoorti referring to the much-criticized DOT-111, a black, torpedo-shaped railcar designed in the 1960s that has become the workhorse of the crude-rail industry. Washington doesn’t appear to be in a rush to address the problem. On January 23, investigators at the US National Transportation Safety Board made broad recommendations that would have big consequences: They said crude oil should meet the same restrictions as toxic chemicals, which must be routed on tracks away from population centers. “The large-scale shipment of crude oil by rail simply didn’t exist 10 years ago, and our safety regulations need to catch up,” says NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “While this energy boom is good for business, the people and the environment along rail corridors must be protected from harm.”
March 4, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Unit 35 Heater at Sweeny Refinery Back after Upset due to Cold Weather
Phillips 66 reported it brought back online a heater associated with unit 35 after an upset due to cold weather at its Sweeny refinery in Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 
March 3, 2014: Phillips Reports Emissions from Valve Release at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported emissions from a valve release at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois, according to a filing with state pollution regulators on Monday. 
February 28, 2014: Phillips Faces Compliance Hearing for Pollution Monitoring System at Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on February 28, 2014 that the Contra Costa County Zoning Administrator will hold a compliance meeting on March 3, 2014 on the land use permit of the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery to determine if the fence line pollution monitoring system, deemed deficient in October, has been fixed. The system is supposed to function 95 percent of the time, according to an agreement between the refinery and an environmental working group that is a condition of a Clean Fuels Expansion Project. According to the staff report, a contractor found the monitoring system exceeded the 95 percent standard during four months of a 10-month period, and failed to meet the standard during six of those months.
February 28, 2014: Phillips Reports Malfunction at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported a malfunction at its Ponca City, Oklahoma refinery, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality made public on Thursday. 
February 26, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, on Wednesday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not specify whether the malfunction caused any production impact.
February 26, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Compressor Trip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported compressor 4003 tripped at its joint-venture Wood River, Illinois, refinery, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency showed.
February 24, 2014: Phillips Resumes Operations at Wood River refinery After February 21 Power Outage
Phillips 66 said operations have resumed at its joint-venture Wood River, Illinois, refinery following a power outage over the weekend. The refinery was hit by a power outage on Friday night and was using its safety flare system late Saturday, according to notices filed with state pollution regulators.
February 20, 2014: Likelihood Of A Train Accident Releasing Oil In South County is Once In Every 226 Years
The Times Press recorder reports that a proposed rail spur extension and expansion at the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery will be discussed at the South County Advisory Council meeting on February 24, 2014. Jim Anderson, superintendent of maintenance at the refinery, will present an overview of the project to construct additional rail spurs on the refinery property. Under the proposal, up to five trains would be unloaded each week, with the maximum expected to be 250 trains per year. That works out to an annual total ranging from 470 million to 547.5 million gallons, depending upon car sizes. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Report the likelihood of a train accident releasing oil in the county at once in every 226 years.
February 19, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Unspecified Material Combustion at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an unspecified material combustion due to unknown reasons at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, on Wednesday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not specify whether the malfunction caused any production impact.
February 14, 2014: Garland Says Phillips has Invested $1.5 Billion in Pollution Control in Last Decade
Greg Garland told security analysts at the Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit on February 12, 2014 that Phillips has invested over $1.5 billion in the last decade in pollution control equipment, in pollution reduction equipment. "So you combine that along with paying attention to the big things and the small things and running our businesses really well, you can see we significantly reduced emissions."
February 10, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Emissions at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips 66 reported emissions at its refinery in Ferndale, Washington, on February 10, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency made public on Thursday. 
February 7, 2014: Opponents of Rail Terminal to Santa Maria Refinery Take Their Concerns to County Traffic Committee
The Times Press Recorder reported on February 7, 2014 that opponents of the proposed rail facility expansion at the Santa Maria refinery plan to take their concerns to South County Advisory Council’s Traffic and Circulation Committee Meeting on February 13, 2014 that is scheduled to discuss the transportation section of the project’s draft environmental impact report. "We will be there in force,” said group member Laurance Shinderman. Members of Mesa Refinery Watch have collected 400 signatures on a petition opposing the expansion and another 100 people individually wrote letters opposing the project said Shinderman. The group worries about a catastrophic explosion along the Union Pacific rail line like the one on December 30, 2013 when two trains collided in South Dakota and last July that killed 47 people after a derailment in Quebec. “It’s not an issue of the refinery increasing capacity,” Shinderman said. “It’s an issue of trains coming through.” Shinderman said the EIR’s assertion the project will have no significant impacts “is just insane,” noting there will be impacts to noise, aesthetics, traffic and air quality. “I think our position is not fewer trains but no trains."
January 29, 2014: Phillips 66 Agrees To Pay $6,000 In State Fines for Water Pollution Violations from Rodeo Refinery
The Contra Costa Times reported on January 29, 2014 that Phillips has agreed to pay $6,000 in fines to the state for exceeding discharge limits for selenium on two different occasions at its Rodeo refinery along San Pablo Bay that occurred on July 2, 2012 and September 5, 2012. Phillips agreed to waive its right to a hearing and to settle the matter under the board's Expedited Payment Program. The settlement is pending acceptance by the board's executive officer following a public comment period that runs until 5 p.m. on February 28, 2014.
January 22, 2014: Phillips Reports Equipment Malfunction, Start-up Procedures After Fire at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported an equipment malfunction at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, which led to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency pollution regulator showed. On January 22, 2014 the company had begun standard start-up procedures to bring a unit affected by a fire on January 21, 2014 back into service. The company had earlier said a small process unit fire that began after a leak at the refinery had been extinguished. 
January 14, 2014: Phillips Settle Claims of Defrauding Utah State Fund of $25 Million for Cleanups of Leaking Underground Tanks
The Insurance Journal reported on January 14, 2014 that Phillips has paid $2 million to settle allegations it helped itself to Utah’s Petroleum Storage Tank Fund for cleaning up damage from leaking fuel storage tanks even though it had insurance to cover the cleanups. Phillips was said to have relied on the fund for cleanups at 82 service stations. Consistently, these guys were saying, ‘No, we don’t have any insurance,” said Therron Blatter, a branch manager for underground storage tanks at the Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation. “Clearly, they did have the insurance.”
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune Phillips was accused of defrauding the Utah’s Petroleum Storage Tank Fund to the tune of $25 million for cleanups associated with leaking underground tanks. In its lawsuit filed in 2012, the division alleged ConocoPhillips collected $25 million in payouts to cover cleanups at 82 service stations by falsely reporting that these sites were not covered by independent insurance. The suit sought to recover this money, plus punitive damages and fines totalling $10,000 for every day ConocoPhillips violated the law. But as lawyers gathered evidence it became apparent some of the claims were not that strong, said Brent Everett, director of the state Division of Environmental Response and Remediation. Officials said they are satisfied with the $2 million settlement, which amounts to less than 10 percent of what they originally claimed was misappropriated.
January 30, 2014: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process unit upset at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, which led to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency pollution regulator showed. The incident led to a processor trip which caused flaring, the filing said. 
January 22, 2014: Phillips Reports Equipment Malfunction, Start-up Procedures at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported an equipment malfunction at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, which led to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency pollution regulator showed. On January 22, 2014 the company had begun standard start-up procedures to bring a unit affected by a fire on Tuesday back into service. The company had earlier said a small process unit fire that began after a leak at the refinery had been extinguished. 
January 15, 2014: Phillips Reports ‘Start-up Issues’ at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported “start-up issues” on January 15, 2014 with units at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency 
January 10, 2014: Phillips Reports Coker Unit Malfunction at Wood River Refinery
A coking unit malfunctioned on January 10, 2014 at Phillips' Wood River, Illinois refinery, according to a notice posted online Saturday by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Liquid running down the hydrogen line triggered a malfunction in the north coker at the refinery, setting off the plant’s safety flare system, according to the notice.
January 8, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported flaring at its Wood River refinery on January 8, 2014 according to a filing with state pollution regulators. 
January 7, 2014: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported an unspecified unit upset leading to sulfur dioxide emissions at its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana, according to a filing with the National Response Center on January 7, 2014. 
January 7, 2014: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Electric Issue at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported an electrical problem leading to flaring at its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana, according to a notice filed with the National Response Center on January 7, 2014.
December 31, 2013: Eleven Workers Treated After Hazardous Materials Leak at Wilmington Refinery
The Daily Breeze reported on December 31, 2013 that eleven workers were briefly treated for possible respiratory problems on December 31, 2013 following a sulfur dioxide leak at the Phillips 66 Refinery in Wilmington. A firefighter at the refinery said the 11 people were workers who had been exposed to sulfur dioxide gas. They were taken to hospitals for emergency treatment in fair condition said Katherine Main of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Other workers were told to shelter in place inside buildings on the refinery. By 11 a.m., the LAFD reported that the situation was “static’’ and there was “no active leak (and) no danger to the community." “All other refinery employees and contract workers have been accounted for and are safe. The area has been secured and the refinery is running under normal operations,’’ said Phillips 66 spokesman Rich Johnson.
December 31, 2014: Sulfur Dioxide Leak, Injuries Reported at Wilmington Refinery
Eleven people were treated for minor respiratory problems on Tuesday from a sulfur dioxide leak at Phillips Wilmington refinery. A hazardous materials team was on hand to investigate the scene and investigators said the problem was localized within the grounds of the refinery. The leak was reportedly contained and the incident posed no danger to the surrounding community, according to officials. 
December 27, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The company reported hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide emissions from a stack, according to the filing. 
December 23, 2013: Safety Critics of Rail Terminal through San Luis Obispo County Speak Out at Workshop
The Santa Maria Sun reported on December 23, 2013 that 60 citizens and stakeholders gathered for a two-hour public workshop on December 12, 2013 regarding the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the Phillips 66 project to ship oil by train through San Luis Obispo County to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. “I want people to wake up,” said Julie Tacker, a Los Osos resident and local activist. “I’d like people all along the railroad line—which runs right through the heart of SLO County—to pay attention. All it takes is one car on the oil train to blow, and then they’ll all blow.” Concerns raised about the rail spur project included the significant danger of an oil train accident similar to the Québec disaster of July 2013, adverse traffic and noise impacts, the higher volatility of Bakken crude (a potential source for the oil trains), and what detractors called the suspicious timing of the project in relation to a 10 percent refinery through-put increase approved just two months before the rail spur project was proposed. Local environmental activist Eric Greening was concerned about the safety of the train cars that will be used to transport oil. Greening claimed “the majority of train cars on the rails in America right now are substandard,” and requested that Phillips 66 use safer cars.
Phillips 66 staffers, SLO County Planning and Building Department representatives, and the DEIR report consultants were in attendance to receive public comments and to answer questions. The county has tentatively scheduled a Planning Commission hearing for the project on April 24.
December 20, 2013: Phillips Reports Wet Gas Compressor Trip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a wet gas compressor tripped at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The loss of the compressor led to sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing said. 
December 20, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The company reported emissions from a fluid catalytic cracker and a gas oil hydrodesulphurizer.
December 18, 2013: Phillips Reports Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips reported a sudden failure of the PP splitter pressure control system that resulted in venting to flare which continued until the control system was repaired. 
December 17, 2013: Phillips Reports Sulfur Dioxide Emissions at Bayway Refinery
Phillips reported sulfur dioxide emissions at its Bayway refinery in Linden, New Jersey, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. 
December 2, 2013: Phillips Reports Sulfur Plant Upset at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported a sulfur plant upset at its Ferndale, Washington refinery, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency. The incident resulted in emissions from the no. 2 tail gas unit, the filing said.
November 27, 2013: Phillips to Pay $300K Settlement for Migratory Bird Deaths near Borger Refinery
Jim McBride reported in the Amarillo Globe-News on November 27, 2013 that Phillips and federal authorities have reached a nearly $300,000 settlement over migratory bird killed near their Borger Refinery after the the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service learned in August 2012 about 260 waterfowl, mostly teal, had been killed at the Johnson Tank Farm Pond, a 3 million-barrel brine water pond spanning 22 acres in Hutchinson County. In exchange for the company’s mitigation efforts, authorities will not prosecute Phillips under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act or other federal laws if the company continues to comply with terms of the agreement, which was reached November 22, 2013. “At Phillips 66 we conduct our business with care for the environment. ... We have added additional deterrents and continue to work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to minimize bird activity near our operations,” said Phillips spokeswoman Janet Grothe. Phillips has established an emergency treatment center for injured birds at the Borger facility, installed bird deterrent devices and contracted with another firm to keep birds away from the pond with a boat and air horns, federal authorities said.
November 27, 2013: Phillips Reports Unit Restart, Emissions at Wood River Refinery
Phillips restarted a unit at its Wood River, Illinois refinery on Wednesday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The restart of the unit released sulfur dioxide in excess of the limits set by the refinery’s operating permit, according to the notice. 
November 1, 2013: Phillips Reports FCCU Restart at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported it was restarting the fluidic catalytic cracker unit (FCCU), which caused emissions at its Borger, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 
October 30, 2013: Two Workers Injured in Steam Leak at Humber Refinery
The Grimsby Telegraph reported on November 28, 2013 that two workmen from Phillips, who received serious injuries after a steam leak at the Killingholme refinery on October 30, 2013, are still being treated at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield with one worker in a critical condition while the second is said to be making satisfactory progress. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has visited the site and an official investigation into the accident is underway.
October 25, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Upset, Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset and emissions from a unit at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
October 15, 2013: Phillips Reports FCC Restart at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported that it was beginning to restart its unit 40 fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) after emissions at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to the filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 
October 9, 2013: Phillips Reports Compressor Trip at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a flare gas recovery compressor tripped at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to nitrous dioxide emissions, the filing said.
October 7, 2013: Phillips Reports Incinerator Shut at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 shut an incinerator at its refinery in Sweeny, Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The company reported emissions from its sulfur recovery unit, the filing said. 
October 6, 2013: Phillips Reports Startup of Unit at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported startup of an unspecified unit at its refinery in Ponca City, Oklahoma, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. 
October 3, 2013: Phillips Reports Small Fire in Process Unit at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a small fire in the insulation of a process unit at its Rodeo refinery in northern California, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services. 
September 29, 2013: Phillips Reports Unit Start Up After Power Blip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 reported ethylene unit 33 will start up on or after September 29 after being forced to shut down on September 23 when a power blip occurred due to an owl hitting a transformer. 
September 27, 2013: Phillips Reports Startup of Unit at Ponca City Refinery
Phillips reported the startup of an unspecified unit on September 27 at its refinery in Ponca City, Oklahoma, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. The company had earlier reported shutdown of an unspecified unit on September 14 at the refinery.
September 27, 2013: Phillips Reports Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported sulfur dioxide emissions led to flaring at its Los Angeles-area refinery in Wilmington, California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. 
September 24, 2013: Phillips Reports FCC Precipitator Work at Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported maintenance at its unit 40 fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC) precipitators at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The maintenance was expected to last from September 24 to October 3, the filing said. 
September 23, 2013: Phillips Reports Units Online After Power Blip at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 reported it restored power and brought units back online after a power interruption at its refinery in Sweeny, Texas, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The refineryreported emissions from sulfur recovery units. 
September 15, 2013: Phillips Reports Equipment Issues at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported equipment issues at its Wood River refinery a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said. The incident occurred on Sunday and led to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, the agency said. 
September 5, 2013: Phillips Has Wet Gas Compressor Breakdown at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported the breakdown of a wet gas compressor system at its Wilmington Refinery according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing said. 
September 4, 2013: Phillips Lake Charles Refinery Operating Normally After Storms Shut Units
Phillips said operations were back to normal at its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana. The company had reported severe weather had led to a shutdown of some units at the refinery although no damage was reported.
September 3, 2013: Storm Shuts Units at Lake Charles Refinery
Phillips reported a storm with lightning shut down some units at its Lake Charles refinery in Westlake, Louisiana, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center. There was a release of sulfur dioxide and instruments will be put back online after securing the release, the filing said.
September 2, 2013: Phillips Restarts VDU at Wood River Refinery
Phillips restarted the 105,000 b/d vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at its Wood River, Illinois refinery. Ramp-up of the VDU started September 2 after being offline since August 29. The associated 65,000 b/d coker has continued operating normally during the outage
August 29, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Unit Upset, Emissions at Wood River Refinery
A process unit upset was reported at Phillips’ Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions, the filing said.
August 28, 2013: Phillips Reports Flare Gas Recovery Compressor Shut at Wood River Refinery
A flare gas recovery compressor shutdown was reported at Phillips' Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said. The incident led to sulfur dioxide emissions, state pollution regulators said.
August 23, 2013: Expansion of Rodeo Refinery Worries East Bay Residents
KGO-TV reported on August 23, 2013 that a plan to build a propane storage facility at Phillips' Rodeo Refinery has some residents fearing for their safety, especially after the big explosion at a propane plant in Central Florida last month. "You can run from a fire, you cannot run from an explosion," says Tegan Clive of Rodeo. "It's too close to people." Phillips says they're just trying to catch up to their competitors in the Bay Area, that all the others already have propane plants on site. "Right now, we currently utilize propane and butane and burn it in our furnaces here. So, it's a fuel source. We're going to replace that with natural gas, something that's cleaner burning than propane and butane," says Phillips spokesman Mark Hughest. Phillips 66 says their plan has been reviewed by safety experts and the risks are low. The Contra Costa Planning Commission has approved a draft environmental impact report. If the full board of supervisors approves a final plan, Phillips hopes to begin construction early next year.
August 20, 2013: Phillips Isolates Transmission Line in Oklahoma After Gas Spill
Reuters reported on August 20, 2013 that Phillips has isolated a transmission line in Pawnee County, Oklahoma following a leak of an unknown amount of gasoline according to a filing with the US National Response Center.
August 13, 2013: Update: Phillips 66 Regains Control After Process Upset at its 146,000 b/d Borger, Texas Refinery
Phillips 66 reported it regained control after a process upset and emissions from the unit 34 sulfur recovery unit (SRU) at its refinery in Borger, Texas late Monday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The company said on Tuesday that there was no planned maintenance under way at the refinery. Reuters, 17:10 August 13, 2013. Posted to DOE website 8-14-13.
August 12, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Emissions, Process Upset at its 146,000 b/d Borger, Texas Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a process upset and emissions from the unit 34 sulfur recovery unit (SRU) at its refinery in Borger, Texas, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The company reported maintenance on Sunday on electrostatic precipitators serving the fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at the refinery, according to a notice filed with state pollution regulators. Reuters, 19:00 August 12, 2013. Posted to DOE website 8-13-13.
August 12, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Flaring at Its 139,000 b/d Carson, California Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring at its refinery in Carson, California, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. There was a release of about 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide, the filing said. Reuters, 4:24 August 12, 2013. Posted to DOE website 8-12-13.
August 9, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Malfunction at Its 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a unit malfunction, on Friday, at its refinery in Wood River, Illinois, according to a notice filed with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The malfunction triggered releases of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, according to the notice. No further details were immediately available. Reuters, 13:06 August 11, 2013. Posted to DOE website 8-12-13.
August 9, 2013: Coking Unit Drums to be Replaced in October at Phillips 66’s 198,400 b/d Ponca City Refinery
Phillips 66 is set to replace two giant drums on the coking unit at its Ponca City, Oklahoma, refinery in October, according to sources familiar with operations at the refinery. The coking unit will be shut to lift out the current drums and put the replacement drums in the unit, the sources said. Reuters, 13:08 August 8, 2013. Posted to DOE website 8-9-13.
August 6, 2013: Phillips Conducts Evacuation Drills at Lake Charles Refinery
KPLC TV reported on Augusut 6, 2013 that Phillips planned drill exercises over multiple days to cover all shifts and that residents should not be alarmed by horns. "Neighbors and passersby may hear a series of horn blasts and see employees gathering in the parking lot, however, they should not be alarmed as this is part of the exercise. The horns will sound to signal the start of the evacuation and then again when the all clear is issued," the release states. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all VPP Star sites to conduct an annual evacuation drill.
August 5, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Equipment Upset at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a process equipment upset occurred August 5 at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The incident led to sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing said.
August 5, 2013: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its joint venture refinery in Borger, Texas according to a notice filed with the state pollution regulators. The company had regained control of the process but did not specify which units were involved in the incident.
July 22, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Flaring at Its 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery
Phillips 66 reported that an unspecified problem led to flaring at its Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The incident on Monday led to nitrogen dioxide emissions, the filing with Illinois Emergency Management Agency said. Reuters, 4:14 July 23, 2013. Posted to DOE website 7-23-13.
July 21, 2013: Phillips Reports Flaring at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips reported emissions at its Ferndale, Washington, refinery on July 21, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency. 
July 18, 2013: Phillips Pays Fine for Billings Refinery Pollution Violations
The Daily Journal reported on July 18, 2013 that Phillips has paid $17,075 to resolve pollution violations involving wastewater from the company's Billings refinery when the Montana Department of Environmental Quality said Phillips' refinery exceeded chlorine limits in its wastewater in 2010, and limits on oil and grease in 2012. Phillips used chlorinated water which is toxic to fish to test a large storage tank for leaks, but did not remove the chlorine prior to draining the tank.
July 18, 2013: Flare Gas Compressor Shut at Phillips Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a flare gas compressor shutdown at its Wood River refinery, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. There were also sulfur dioxide emissions, the filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said.
July 17, 2013: Phillips Oklahoma City Pipeline Terminal Receives Safety Recognition
Adam Wilmoth reported in the Daily Oklahoman on July 17, 2013 that the Oklahoma City Phillips 66 terminal received OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program Star qualification, awarded based on the company's safety policies and on how well employees understand and follow those policies. “Phillips 66 is very proud of Oklahoma joining the VPP Star sites. It's hard work, but it's well worth the effort to become part of this family,” said Bob Herman, senior vice president of health, safety and environment for Phillips 66. “We're committed to this program. We're in it for the long haul. The program cost us money, but it is the right way to run our business.” Phillips is the 46th company in Oklahoma to achieve the VPP Star recognition. The Oklahoma City terminal is the 23rd Phillips 66 site to receive the award.
July 14, 2013: 400 Migratory Birds Encrusted with Salt at Borger Refinery
Jennifer Hiller reported in the San Antonio Express-News on July 14, 2013 that Texas is a major migration flyway for birds and with the severe drought birds desperate for water are landing in open pits and tanks that hold water for drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations. Last fall, for example, 400 migrating birds dove into briny water at Borger Refinery. “Their water source was dry and so they went to a huge brine pit that was within a refinery, and 400 or more birds were encrusted with salt,” said Longtime bird rehabilitator Bebe McCasland.
July 12, 2013: CCU Upset Reported at Ferndale Refinery
A catalytic cracking unit (CCU) upset was reported on July 1, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency. The company also reported the release of hydrogen cyanide from the unit
July 12, 2013: Update: Phillips 66’s 198,400 Ponca City, Oklahoma Refinery Back to Normal Operations
Normal operations resumed today after a power disruption on Thursday. The refinery suffered storm-related power disruption and was in the process of restarting several units on Thursday. Reuters, 12:56 July 12, 2013. Posted to DOE website 7-12-13.
July 12, 2013: Phillips Blames Shifting Land for 25,000 Gallon Crow Reservation Oil Spill
KULR News reported on July 12, 2013 that Phillips 66 says shifting land appears to have damaged an underground pipeline that spilled up to 25,000 gallons of gasoline on the Crow Reservation west of Lodge Grass. Phillips says that it has completed repairs on its 8-inch underground Seminoe line and a cleanup plan is pending. The line is expected to be put back into operation by July 14, 2013 and spokesman Dennis Nuss says by the time of the restart the company will have fulfilled safety actions requested by federal regulators to prevent further problems.
July 11, 2013: Phillips 66 Restarting Several Units After Storm-Related Power Disruption at Ponca City Refinery
A storm-related power disruption this morning affected several Ponca City units. Phillips 66 is in the process of restarting several units. Reuters, 10:45 July 11, 2013. Posted to DOE website 7-11-13.
July 9, 2013: Phillips 66 Plans New Oil Pipeline across Yellowstone River to Prevent Line From Breaking
KTVQ reported on July 9, 2013 that Phillips plans to build a new petroleum pipeline across the Yellowstone River in Montana after a survey conducted in 2011 found that the existing Phillips pipeline was only covered by two to six feet of river bed. The project comes two years after Exxon's pipeline broke in the Yellowstone River, spewing 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the water. Phillips wants to construct a new line that would run 40 feet underneath the water to prevent the line from breaking. The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation recommends that Phillips 66 remove the old pipeline as part of the project but Phillips disagrees with this recommendation. The Montana Land Board will vote on whether or not to grant the construction permit on July 15, 2013.
July 7, 2013: Hydrogen Plant Returns to Service at Rodeo Refinery by July 7
An upset in the supply of hydrogen triggered an unscheduled unit shutdown at the Phillips' 76,000 b/d refinery in Rodeo, California, setting off flaring and prompting complaints from plant neighbors, according to a filing July 5.
July 7, 2013: Process Upset Causes Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported emissions at its Borger refinery July 7 were due to an unspecified process upset, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
July 5, 2013: Phillips Gas pipeline Spills 25,000 Gallons on Crow Reservation in Montana
UPI reported on July 5, 2013 that a Phillips 66 pipeline spilled 25,000 gallons of gasoline on the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana. The same pipeline broke twice in one week in 1997, spilling an estimated 2,300 barrels of gasoline near Lodge Grass and Banner, NBC News said. A U.S. Department of Transportation spokesman said the leak, which occurred about 15 miles from Lodge Grass, Mont., was under investigation but posed no safety threat to the public and did not immediately affect any waterways. Phillips 66 says the pipeline transports finished petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel from its Billings refinery to Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. Spokesman Dennis Nuss says Phillips immediately shut down the pipeline and that there are no anticipated health concerns. Crow Tribal Chair Darrin Old Coyote confirmed this and also said the leak is not near any homes or streams. "Phillips 66 was the one who reported it," Old Coyote said. "The pipeline is shut down and they are mobilizing their equipment to actually do the cleanup. No evacuations have taken place, but they are doing traffic control because the area is close to the road that goes from Hardin to Fort Smith." In 2004, the Conoco Pipe Line Co. agreed to pay $465,000 for environmental violations after the line broke twice in a week in 1997, spilling more than 2,300 barrels of gasoline near Lodge Grass and Banner, Wyo.
July 4, 2013: Tail Gas Unit Pump Seal Failure Reported at Phillips 66’s 44,500 b/d Arroyo Grande Refinery
Phillips 66 reported sulfur dioxide emissions from an incinerator at its Arroyo Grande refinery in California Thursday due to a pump seal failure in a tail gas unit. The pump seal was repaired and the refinery was back to normal operation later that day. Reuters, 21:20 July 4, 2013. Posted to DOE website 7-5-13.
July 1, 2013: Phillips Reports Release of Hydrogen Cyanide at Sweeny Refinery
According to a filing with the National Response Center, two fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) released hydrogen cyanide July 1. The report did not give a status on the FCCUs.
June 27, 2013: Update: Phillips 66’s 44,500 b/d Santa Maria Facility in Arroyo Grande, California Returns to Normal by June 27 After June 23 Power Outage
Phillips 66’s Arroyo Grande, California, refinery is back to standard operation after a power outage that shut down the facility on June 23. Reuters, 14:39 June 27. Posted to DOE website 6-28-13.
June 25, 2013: Phillips 66 Restarts Its Santa Maria Refinery in Arroyo Grande, California June 25 After Losing Power June 24
Phillips 66 was restarting its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, Tuesday after it lost power that Monday night. The Arroyo Grande plant is part of the company’s 120,000 b/d San Francisco area refining complex. Semi-refined products from the Arroyo Grande facility are sent by pipeline to the Rodeo facility in the San Francisco Bay area for upgrading into finished petroleum products, according to Phillips 66.
June 18, 2013: Phillips Starts Up of HCU at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported that it had started up a hydrocracker unit at its Wood River refinery in Illinois on June 18, according to a filing with national pollution regulators.
June 14, 2013: Unspecified Process Upset Causes Emissions at Borger Refinery
Phillips reported a process upset at its Borger refinery that led to emissions, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
June 12, 2013: Employee is Exposed to Hydrogen Sulfide at Bayway Refinery
Phillips 66 said operations were not affected at its Bayway refinery in Linden, NJ after an employee was hospitalized following an exposure to hydrogen sulfide on June 12. The employee was released from the hospital later the same day, a spokesman said.
June 11, 2013: Unspecified Problem Causes Sulfur Dioxide Emissions at Phillips Rodeo, Refinery
Phillips 66 reported sulfur dioxide emissions at its Rodeo refinery after an unspecified problem, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program
June 10, 2013: Phillips Reports Equipment Leak near Compressor at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 on June 10 reported emissions due to an equipment leak in a compressor area at its Wood River, Ill. refinery, according to filings with the State pollution regulator. Operators reported last week that plant maintenance was underway at the refinery.
June 9, 2013: Phillips Reports Leak in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Unit at IWood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a leak in the ultra low sulfur diesel unit was discovered at its Wood River refinery late at night on June 9, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center. Operators were isolating and depressuring the unit. The company reported emissions on June 10 due to an equipment leak in a compressor area at the refinery in a notice filed with State pollution regulators.
June 7, 2013: Phillips Reports Unplanned Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported unplanned flaring at its Wilmington refinery began the morning of June 7 and continued until late night on June 8, according to a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
June 5, 2013: Off-gas Compressor Trips at Phillips 66’s 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery
Phillips 66 on Wednesday reported that an off-gas compressor had tripped at its Wood River refinery, according to a filing with State pollution regulators. Reuters, 04:01 June 6, 2013. Posted to DOE website 6-6-13.
May 28, 2013: Furnace Stack Malfunction Shuts Unit at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 reported that Unit 35 furnace at its Sweeny refinery tripped when a stack damper stuck in a closed position, which caused Unit 35 to shut, causing flaring, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Intermittent flaring related to this incident continued for about 9 hours on May 28.
May 28, 2013: Phillips 66 Shuts HCU after Process Leak Releases Hydrogen Sulfide at Its 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a hydrocracker unit (HCU) at its Wood River refinery was shut Tuesday following a process leak that released hydrogen sulfide, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center. http://www.nrc.uscg.mil/reports/rwservlet?standard_web+inc_seq=1048548 Posted to DOE websi
May 20, 2013: Update: Phillips 66 Resumes Normal Operations at Its 247,000 b/d Sweeny, Texas Refinery by May 20
Phillips 66 on Monday said it has resumed normal operations at its Sweeny refinery after taking several days to restart process units impacted by a power failure on May 11. Reuters, 10:16 May 20, 2013. Posted to DOE website 5-21-13.
May 16, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Coker Compressor Loss at 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery
Phillips 66 reported the loss of a compressor on a coker unit at its Wood River refinery on Thursday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Reuters, 04:00 May 17, 2013. Posted to DOE website 5-17-13.
May 13, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Wet Gas Scrubber Stack Emissions at Its 225,000 b/d Cherry Point Washington Refinery
Phillips 66 reported emissions of sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide from a wet gas scrubber stack at its Cherry Point refinery on May 13, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency on Friday. Reuters, 18:57 May 17, 2013. Posted to DOE website 5-21-13.
May 11, 2013: Power Failure Shuts Process Units at 247,000 b/d Sweeny, Texas Refinery
Restart Expected to Take Several Days Phillips 66 said Sunday that it would take several days to restart its Sweeny refinery after a power failure on Saturday caused several process units to shut down or experience operational difficulties. The crude distillation unit, coker flare, fluid catalytic cracking unit, vacuum distillation unit, and delayed coking unit, among others, were listed as sources of emissions in a filing with Texas regulators. The power interruption was triggered by Texas New Mexico power supply failure. Following the plant interruption, plant personnel worked to safely and sequentially restore power to affected process units, and to restart them in a staged manner to minimize emissions.
May 3, 2013: Electrical Supply Problems Cause Emissions at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its Wood River refinery on May 3 were caused by electrical power supply problems, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
April 30, 2013: Flare Gas Recovery Compressor Fails at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported the loss of a flare gas recovery compressor at its Wood River refinery on April 30, according to a filing with state pollution regulators.
April 29, 2013: Unspecified Process Upset Causes Emissions at Phillips 66’s 146,000 b/d Borger Refinery
Phillips 66 reported an unspecified process upset at its Borger refinery Monday morning caused emissions from Area C, a flare, and the refinery, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
April 23, 2013: Gas Plant Glitch at Phillips 66’s 362,000 b/d Wood River, Illinois Refinery Results in Sulfur Dioxide Emissions
Phillips 66 reported a glitch at a gas plant at its Wood River refinery on Tuesday resulted in sulfur dioxide emissions, according to a filing with State pollution regulators. Reuters, 04:00 April 24, 2013. Posted to DOE website 4-24-13.
April 27, 2013: Fire at Chevron Phillips Port Arthur Chemical Plant Sends Eight to Hospital
The Port Arthur News reported on April 27, 2013 that an early morning fire at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in Port Arthur sent eight contract workers to two hospitals on April 27, 2013. Company officials confirmed that a localized fire occurred at its Port Arthur facility at approximately 4 a.m. during a turnaround period, which resulted in several contractor employees being transported to the local hospital. The fire was quickly extinguished, and there was no impact to the community, according to a press release from Melanie Samuelson with Chevron Phillips corporate communication. “The safety of our employees is our highest priority,” Margie Conway, plant manager at the Port Arthur facility, said in a press release. “We regret very much that this incident has occurred, and are thankful that most of the contractor employees were treated and released from the hospital.”
April 26, 2013: Safety Called into Question at Bayway Refinery
Jim Hoffer wrote at WABC on April 26, 2013 that Bayway refinery worker and Union President Gary Doherty says that Phillips is cutting back on fire safety putting workers and the community in danger. Doherty says that Bayway's Fire Department has been reduced from 10 full-time firefighters in 2008 to seven today. "Managers made it clear to us that this is to save money, and we ask, at what cost?" Doherty said. Phillips 66 says it maintains robust emergency response capabilities and that only one full-time firefighter position has been cut.
Eyewitness News learned that the volunteer rescue squad had its firefighting training eliminated causing nearly half of the refinery workers on the 48-man volunteer fire brigade to quit the squad. "They turned in their gear and they no longer volunteer to come in and fight fires in the refinery," Doherty said. "They fear for their safety." Phillips 66 says it has reversed its decision to cut firefighting training for Bayway's rescue squad resulting in a return of several volunteers who had quit the fire brigade but Eyewitness News has been told that earlier this week, a training class had to be cancelled because of a lack of volunteers.
April 26, 2013: Amy Goldsmith and Fletcher Harper write that Phillips 66 has Reduced Staffing in Safety Areas at Bayway Refinery, Creating Concern for Workers and Neighbors
Amy Goldsmith and Fletcher Harper wrote in an op-ed in the New Jersey Star-Ledger on April 26, 2013 that the threat of an industrial fire and explosion that recently hospitalized hundreds in West, Texas has potentially increased for New Jersey residents as a result of a recent change in ownership at the Bayway oil refinery. "Last year, the refinery became part of Phillips 66," write Goldsmith and Harper. "After the ownership change, Phillips 66 eliminated one of just two positions dedicated entirely to firefighting and response to chemical leaks on the night shift and also reduced staffing for a process unit that can generate deadly hydrogen sulfide gas. They also cut back on long-established procedures for testing fire protection."
According to Goldsmith, director of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, the state chapter of Clean Water Action, and Harper, executive director of GreenFaith, Phillips produces millions of pounds of highly toxic and flammable substances at Bayway Refinery and Phillips May 2012 Risk Management Plan submitted to EPA acknowledges that a flammable mixture could cause serious harm in the surrounding area in which 18,000 people live. "The people who work at the Bayway refinery have been objecting to Phillips 66’s cuts through their union, Teamsters Local 877. Unfortunately, Phillips 66 has responded by ordering a two-week suspension from work for the local union officer who has helped lead the workers’ health and safety efforts for many years," write Goldsmith and Harper. "Between Earth Day (Monday) and Workers’ Memorial Day (this Sunday), this week has focused Americans’ attention on the need to put public safety and environmental protection ahead of extra profits and bonuses for corporate CEOs. This would be a good time for corporate executives such as those at Phillips 66 to start listening."
April 22, 2013: Phillips Reports Normal Operations at Bayway Refinery
Phillips reported normal operations at its Bayway refinery on April 22 following a power dip that affected several unspecified units on April 19, 2013.
April 19, 2013: Transformer Malfunction Shuts Crude Unit, Causes FCCU Emissions at Sweeny Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a transformer malfunction near the Crude Unit No. 25.1 at its Sweeny refinery caused the unit to shut down, and forced operators to reduce rates, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. During this event, operators de-energized the Unit 27 fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) electrostatic precipitator, causing emissions from the Unit 27 FCCU regenerator and Unit 27.1 FCCU regenerator. Operators later restored the FCCU electrostatic precipitator to normal service. On April 19, energy intelligence service Genscape reported the shutdown of a 123,500 b/d crude distillation unit and a 47,000 b/d FCCU at the refinery.
April 18, 2013: Hydrocracking Unit Trips Offline at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a hydrocracking unit at its Wood River refinery tripped offline April 18, causing nitrous oxide emissions, according to a filing with State pollution regulators. Operators discovered a hydrocracker high separator dump valve had lifted.
April 18, 2013: Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery
Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery by April 18.
April 16, 2013: Phillips Resumes Normal Operations at Sweeny Refinery after Steam Loss Affects Several Units
Phillips 66 reported that several units at its Sweeny refinery shut down the morning of April 16 following a loss of most of the plant’s steam supply, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The steam loss was caused by an interruption in the natural gas supply to the adjacent cogeneration unit, which resulted in the shutdown of all the cogeneration turbines operating at the time. Operators were investigating the cause of the natural gas supply disruption. Following the loss of most steam, the refinery followed established steam shedding procedures and shut certain units down in a safe and controlled manner, which resulted in flaring. A backup boiler provided sufficient steam to allow some units to continue to operate. The natural gas supply to the cogeneration turbines was restored, and refining units re-started in a sequence to minimize emissions. Operators reported the refinery had resumed normal operations by the April 17.
April 15, 2013: Compressor Trip Causes Sulfur Dioxide Release at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported a compressor tripped offline at its Wood River refinery on April 15, causing a release of sulfur dioxide, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
April 13, 2013: Unspecified Breakdown Causes Flaring at Wilmington Refinery
Phillips reported unplanned flaring due to a breakdown at its Wilmington refinery, according to a filing with the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
April 13, 2013: Phillips Reports HCU Leak at Wood River Refinery
Phillips reported a leak of gas oil at a hydrocracker unit (HCU) at its Wood River refinery on April 13, according to filings with the U.S. National Response Center and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
April 13, 2013: Phillips Reports Emissions from FCCU Flu Gas Scrubber at Ferndale Refinery
Phillips 66 reported carbon monoxide emissions from a fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) flu gas scrubber at its Ferndale, Washington refinery on April 13, according to a filing with the Northwest Clean Air Agency.
April 11, 2013: Phillips 66 Reports Unplanned Unit Shutdown at Its 120,000 b/d Rodeo, California Refinery
Phillips 66 reported flaring due to an unplanned shutdown of an unspecified unit at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing released by the Contra Costa Health Services. The filing indicated that the “excessive flaring” was expected to last for six hours
April 8, 2013: Phillips Reports Sulfuric Acid Leak at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported that approximately one barrel of sulfuric acid leaked from a flange at its Wood River refinery on April 8.
April 8, 2013: Unit Trip Causes Emissions at Phillips 66’s 247,000 b/d Sweeny, Texas Refinery
Phillips 66 reported Unit 38 at its Sweeny refinery tripped on Monday while operators were servicing the unit depressure valve, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The trip caused emissions from Flare 29 and Unit 38 for a period of about 22 minutes.
April 6, 2013: Phillips Reports Work on Flare Gas Recovery System at Wood River Refinery
Phillips 66 reported it was performing work on the flare gas recovery system at its Wood River refinery on April 6, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
April 5, 2013: Explosion at DCP Midstream Gas Compressor Station in Langston, Oklahoma
Channel 2 News reported on April 5, 2013 that authorities say a worker inside a natural gas compressor station owned by DCP Midstream was able to escape without injury after an explosion near Langston, Oklahoma, about 45 miles north of Oklahoma City. The Guthrie Fire Department, along with Meridian and Coyle fire departments, all responded to the explosion but firefighters let the natural gas in the line burn off before they could safely fight the blaze and the fire was extinguished several hours